Seth Mitchell, senior archaeologist with AK Environmental and a 2013 recipient of the IUP Young Alumni Achievement Award, spoke to the Anthropology Department Graduate Colloquium about his research at the Johnston Site.
Seth, a 2011 graduate of the Applied Archaeology MA program, took time out from his busy schedule overseeing archaeology and environmental projects to return to IUP. After the Young Alumni Achievement Award, festivities he gave an evening talk to the Anthropology Graduate Colloquium entitled “Understanding the Occupational History of the Monongahela Johnston Village Through Total Artifact Design.” This presentation was based on Seth’s thesis research and provided a good model for current students. Utilizing the concept of style analysis, Seth analyzed a sample of ceramics from the Johnston site to determine if there were different occupations at the site. Style analysis requires the researcher to conceive of the ceramic vessel as a whole, attempting to understand what the original artisan intended. Seth found that all of the ceramic attributes, such as decoration, temper, and rim treatment, overlapped, suggesting that the people of the Johnston village shared a ceramic tradition.
The Johnston site is a late prehistoric Native American village located near Blairsville. IUP Anthropology has been conducting field and laboratory investigations of this site since 2006 under the direction of Sarah Neusius and Beverly Chiarulli.
Photo: Seth Mitchell, Young Alumni Achievement Award winner, and his thesis advisor, Sarah Neusius
Department of Anthropology