Friday, November 02, 2007

This summer I participated in my first field school project. As a student taking Anthropology 134: The Anthropology of Slavery and Abolition, I spent my first three weeks in fieldschool working under Kim Christensen. In Syracuse, New York I had the privilege of digging at the Gage house. Because of the fact that we were digging in a very history/ archaeology conscious area, we were often visited by friends and neighbors of the foundation. Luckily for us (the archaeological staff), we had a great deal to show our visitors. Aside from the pounds and pounds of coal we unearthed, my colleagues and I found numerous examples of ceramics, glass, brick, bones, and other rarities. Before we moved on to the second part of our fieldschool, we took great care to clean as many of our artifacts as we could. However, much work was done after my colleagues and I moved on. I joined this URAP project primarily because I felt that it would be an excellent opportunity to finish the work that we did in Syracuse. Aside from the excitement of digging on campus during an academic semester, I lavished the chance to rediscover all the artifacts I helped to unearth. So far my URAP experience has been everything I hoped it would be. While I have to admit that I felt weary about entering the lab for the first time, the fact that the artifacts were familiar to me really helped. It’s really funny to be working on artifacts and then realize that it’s your name on the artifact bag. Sometimes I don’t recognize things right away because they look so different once they have been cleaned and cataloged away. But above everything I have experienced in lab this semester what I have enjoyed the most is the small reunions with past digging buddies and the chance to make new ones.

Isabel Hernandez


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