One of the highlights of 2011’s Study/Travel excursion to Turkey was a private guided visit of the excavations started in 2001 of a tumulus 11 kms from Kusadas! Its remains date to 6000 BCE and it also is the site of a Byzantine castle. Archeologist Levent Kutbay shared extraordinary photos of findings from the site and then led us through the site. You can share in our enjoyment by visiting:
“My Italian Summer” by Jon Kerr
Over the month of July 2009, I took part in an archaeological excavation at a site called San Felice, or “Saint Happy,” in Gravina in Puglia, Italy. The team consisted of an equal mix of Canadian and American undergraduates and postgraduates. The site was an Imperial Roman villa in use between the first century BCE and the second century CE. Evidence shows that it was mostly used for grain harvesting and wool production. Each day, we would awake at 5 AM, work in the field until 1:30 PM, and then work in the lab processing finds until 5 PM. I learned important methods necessary for a thorough investigation, such as keeping a proper archaeological journal, scale and section drawing, archaeological photography, the proper use of a total station, soil analysis, and pottery and metal identification. Although I learned the skill in a past internship, I also spent much of my time floating soil samples to gather organic remains from the site. Weeknights and weekends included exploring Gravina in Puglia and its surrounding towns, meeting the locals, and trying the local cuisine. I actually tried horse meat, considered a delicacy by the locals (and it was absolutely delicious). On our four-day weekend, we took a trip to the Bay of Naples and visited Pompeii, Herculaneum, Naples, and Capri. I even climbed to the top of Mount Vesuvius! The trip didn’t just teach me about archaeology, but also gave me a glimpse into the culture of an area of Italy rarely visited by tourists. I also made tons of friends, some being international. I would suggest this trip to any aspiring archaeologist.
Students can participate in archaeological excavations either by attending an archaeological field school or by having an internship doing archaeology. Many opportunities, both local and foreign, are listed in our Online Resources under Fieldwork & Volunteering. Another good resource is Shovelbums.org. The following list contains only a few possibilities.
Credit can be earned by enrolling in ARCH 397, for which permission is required to register. This course may be taken multiple times, up to a total of 12 credits that can be applied toward graduation. Only six credits may be counted towards completion of the major. Credits may also be received from the institution running the program and transferred to UMBC. For more information and permission to register, contact your faculty advisor.
Students are encouraged to research their desired subject and find the place that best fits their goals. Faculty members can be consulted for suggestions and to help make arrangements for earning credits. Our students have worked in the United States as well as in foreign countries. Those wishing to earn credits internationally should contact the Study Abroad Office.
The following is a sample of the opportunities available in Maryland:
Fridays at the Point – Come join us for a day in the archaeology lab at the Maritime Visitors Center in Fells Point from 1 to 5pm every Friday. No experience is necessary; we will work with you as you learn about what archaeologists do in the lab and how we interpret archaeological finds. Along the way we hope to meet some new friends and share our passion for the past with you.
For more information, contact Esther Read.
The Lost Towns Project, Annapolis, MD
UMCP Field School in Urban Archaeology, Annapolis, MD