First Applied Archaeology Graduate Colloquium a Success

Posted on 9/18/2014 11:13:25 AM

The Applied Archaeology Graduate Colloquium held its first meeting of the 2014–15 school year on Wednesday, September 17. The colloquium included presentations by four student groups summarizing their summer experiences.

Amanda Rasmussen, Cher Gilligan, and Jonathan Crise discussed their experience with the Pennsylvania Highway Archaeology Survey Team (PHAST). PHAST is part of a long-standing agreement between IUP Anthropology and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT). The PHAST team, led by and predominately crewed by IUP students, provides in-house archaeological services for PennDOT. This summer, the team completed 15 archaeological projects all across the state. PHAST is a great opportunity for IUP students to get hands-on experience in applied archaeology, and it provides a cost-effective way for PennDOT to manage the archaeological resources related to its projects.

Casey Campetti and Katherine Thorwart presented on their summer assistantships as field supervisors for the IUP archaeological field school. IUP hosts a field school every summer; this past year it was at the Late Prehistoric Johnston Site near Blairsville. Casey and Katherine were responsible for teaching proper excavation and recording techniques, supervising teams of students, and providing comic relief. This job provided them with valuable supervisory experience, which is necessary to meet professional archaeology standards. They also served as excellent models for younger students.

Allen Huber and Ashley McCuistion, both firs-year MA students, talked about their work at Ferry Farm, George Washington’s boyhood home. The excavation was designed to identify the remains of buildings at the farm, but public interpretation was also important. The site is open to the public and is a popular archeo-tourism destination in Virginia. Ashley and Allen gained valuable experience in historical archaeology and in public archaeology.

Cheryl Frankum rounded out the presentations, speaking about her experience in cultural resource management (CRM). Cheryl has been working in the CRM industry for five years and has been involved in projects across the U.S. She enrolled in the Applied Archaeology MA program to earn a degree that will help her move up within her company. In the U.S., an MA degree and experience qualifies an archaeologist to lead projects and submit reports for government review. Cheryl brings valuable real-world experience to the MA program.

The Archaeology Graduate Colloquium is convened by Amanda Rasmussen and Hannah Charlton under the direction of Sarah Neusius.

The next colloquium will be held on October 14 at 5:00 p.m. and will focus on EndNote.

Be certain to check out the updated Anthropology Department website, as well as our YouTube channel and new program blog.