Teaching

My day as archaeological researcher and as archaeological educator

[Für die deutsche Übersetzung bitte nach unten scrollen]

Hello, I am Carmen and I working as an archaeologist in Germany.

When I got registered for #dayofarchaeology I actually did planned to tell you something about my education program ErlebnisArchaeologie, all around re-experienced history and archaeology. But meanwhile unfortunately it showed up, that the new two-days-course about paper and writing will not come into being. And therefore I don’t have anything to prepare for this and as a consequence I can’t write about that.

But even though those education programs for sure are a matter of heart for me, it’s not my only area of work in archaeology. In fact at the moment I still earn most of my money as a researcher in regular field work. I also do complementation work for an excavation that ended some weeks ago, and that’s what I’m working on today.Fotor_146982390776327_wm

This means, that I have to check all the written and graphic documentation for the project. For example, I assess each drawing to ensure it includes the feature number, measuring point(s), orientation/north point and scale. In some case there is also additional information like strata numbers needed. I also double-check that every feature at the site has been described. I check hundreds of lists to ensure every feature and every step was documented correctly. If anything is missing, I try to complete information by comparing existing data: the site plan drawing, the photographic records, the daily field notes, and every existing entry about that specific feature in the aforementioned hundreds of lists. In the end I usually find the missing information in another location. And if it really can’t be found, I make a note in the margin.Fotor_146982411705960_wm

What archaeologists aim for with this kind of work is to documentat the site as thoroughly as is possible. This is a necessary labour because archaeology always destroys its original sources, and also because in many cases the excavator himself is not doing the final analysis for the project, or the same sitw is re-explored by a different researcher some years after. I have been working on these final records checks for the last few days. But just today I finished!

For the rest of the day, I worked on an archaeological education program about what it is like to be an archaeologist. I have two programs thar I call “To be an archaeologist once”. During this half-day program, children “excavate” a prepared area in a sandbox, them try to assemble their finds, maybe do some conservation and restoration.

Fotor_146982459795758_wm

To help the children along, I prepare the artifacts for the sandbox dig such that I know some will fit back together, and tjat is what I will do this afternoon: I will take flowerpots and carefully break them. I use the age of the participants to choose how many pieces I break the pots into: younger kids will find a pot shattered maybe only in 3 or 4 parts, older ones can handle a puzzle with up to 7 or 8 parts. And of course I always have also to think about how many of the pieces should be missing, because in reality we do not find complete vessels that often, do we? I plan the mock dig so every child will find a “feature” denoted with her or his name, containing shards of an incomplete pot. The children then have an assembly competition which will hopefully be doable because of the age-appropriate setup.DSC_3619_wm_2016To know more about me and my work please have a look to http://www.erlebnisarchaeologie-bayern.de/

 

[German/Deutsch]

Mein Tag als Archäologin in der Feldforschung und als Museumspädagogin

Hallo, meine Name ist Carmen und ich bin als Archäologin in Deutschland tätig.

Als ich für #dayofarchaeology registrierte, plante ich eigentlich etwas über meine Bildungsprogramme mit der ErlebnisArchäologie rund um erlebbare Geschichte und Archäologie zu berichten. Vor allem ein neu entwickeltes Programm rund um das Thema Papier und Schrift sollte Inhalt sein. Aber in der Zwischenzeit ist es leider so, dass dieser neue Zwei-Tage-Kurs nicht zustande kommen wird. Und deshalb brauche ich hierfür keine abschließenden Vorbereitungen treffen und kann daher auch nicht darüber berichten.

Aber auch wenn diese Bildungsprogramme sicher eine Herzensangelegenheit für mich sind, sie stellen nicht mein einziges Betätigungsfeld in der Archäologie dar. In der Tat erwirtschafte ich im Moment den Großteil meines Auskommens immer noch mit klassischer Feldarbeit. Und heute um genau zu sein mit der Abschlussarbeiten für eine Ausgrabung, die vor einigen Wochen endete.Fotor_146982390776327_wm

Das bedeutet, dass ich die komplette schriftliche und zeichnerische Dokumentation überprüfe. Zum Beispiel überprüfe ich jede Zeichnung auf Vollständigkeit: dies bedeutet im Regelfall, dass zumindest Angaben zur Befundnummer, Meßpunkten, Orientierung/Nordung und Maßstab vorhanden sein müssen. In einigen Fällen werden auch zusätzliche Informationen wie schichtnummern benötigt. Ich kontrolliere auch, ob jeder Befund beschrieben wurde. Und überprüfe gefühlte Hunderte von Listen, ob jeder Befund und jeder Arbeitsschritt korrekt dokumentiert wurden.

Falls etwas fehlt versuche ich Informationen zu vervollständigen, indem ich vorhandene Daten vergleiche: ich werfe einen Blick auf den Gesamtplan und die fotografischen Aufzeichnungen, ich überprüfe das Grabungstagebuch und jeden vorhandenen Eintrag zu diesem Befund in in den Querverweislisten. Am Ende findet sich so normalerweise die fehlende Information in einem anderen Zusammenhang. Und wenn es sich wirklich nicht rekonstruieren lässt, dann wird auch das in einer Randnotiz erwähnt.Fotor_146982411705960_wm

Archäologen bezwecken mit dieser Sisyphusarbeit, eine möglichst vollständige Dokumentation zu erhalten. Dies ist eine wirklich notwendig, weil Archäologie immer die ursprünglichen Quellen zerstört und auch weil in vielen Fällen nicht der Ausgräber selbst ist die endgültige Analyse vornimmt bzw. eine Ausgrabung auch zu einem späteren Zeitpunkt neu betrachtet werden kann.

Und deshalb habe ich diese Abschlussprüfungen in den die letzten Tagen durchgeführt. Aber gerade bin ich damit fertig geworden. Und so kann ich doch noch ein wenig von meiner anderen Seite der Arbeit als Archäologin im Bereich Museumspädagogik berichten:

Denn in der Tat hatte ich in der kommenden Woche nicht nur das Programm zu Papier und Schrift auf dem Plan stehen. Ich halte auch zwei Mal „Einmal Archäologe sein“ ab. Während dieser Halbtagesveranstaltung können Kinder einmal selber in einer vorbereitete Fläche, z.B. in einem Sandkasten, “ausgraben”. Danach versuchen sie, ihre Fundstücke zusammenzusetzen und diese dann auch zu restaurieren.Fotor_146982459795758_wm

Aber damit sie dies alles tun können, muss ich natürlich auch sicherstellen, dass es überhaupt Fundstücke gibt. Und das ist, was ich nun in der zweiten Hälfte des Tages tue: Ich nehme Blumentöpfe und zerschlage sie sorgsam. Es ist tatsächlich sehr wichtig, sie nicht nur in irgendeiner Weise zu zerteilen. Ich habe immer einen Blick auf das Alter der Teilnehmer. Für jüngere Kinder wird der Topf vielleicht nur in 3 oder 4 Teile zerscherbt, ältere erhalten ein Puzzle mit bis zu 7 oder 8 Teilen. Und natürlich muss ich auch immer die fehlenden Stücke mit einplanen, denn in Wirklichkeit finden wir ja auch nicht allzu oft komplette Gefäße. So werden dann am Dienstag alle Kinder einen „Befund“ vorfinden, der nicht durchnummeriert ist, sondern mit ihrem oder seinen Namen gekennzeichnet wurde. Und im Inneren werden Scherben eines unvollständigen Topfs sein, dessen Zusammensetzen und Ergänzen nach Möglichkeit den altersgerechten Fähigkeiten entsprechen.DSC_3619_wm_2016

Wenn ihr noch mehr über mich und meine Arbeit wissen wollt, schaut doch mal bei mir auf der Homepage vorbei http://www.erlebnisarchaeologie-bayern.de/

Project Archaeology and Archaeological Education in Arkansas

Because archaeological sites are endangered and finite resources, I spend a lot of my time doing archaeological education encouraging people to care about and protect sites. I teach in a university setting, but I also do youth programs to help teach young people to be stewards of the past. This year, I have spent many of my days of archaeology co-writing a 5th grade (age 10-11) social studies curriculum about archaeology and plant-based foodways in the southeastern United States. The curriculum, which focuses on sites in Arkansas, will be aligned with common core standards to promote and enhance archeological education in Arkansas’s public schools.

Project Archaeology Leadership Academy course materials.

Project Archaeology Leadership Academy course materials.

Like the majority of archaeologists, I didn’t learn how to teach archaeology to the public in college. Fortunately, I don’t have to reinvent the wheel. This summer, I attended the Project Archaeology Leadership Academy in Bozeman, Montana. Project Archaeology is “an educational organization dedicated to teaching scientific and historical inquiry, cultural understanding, and the importance of protecting our nation’s rich cultural resources.” They are a national network of archaeologists, educators, and concerned citizens working to make archaeology education accessible to students and teachers across the country through high-quality educational materials and professional development. Each year, they offer a Leadership Academy to teach educators (and archaeologists) to use Investigating Shelter, an inquiry-based Social Studies and Science curriculum, and empower them with educating their peers on how to implement the curriculum in the classroom.

Workshop participants visited Madison Buffalo Jump State Park

Workshop participants visited Madison Buffalo Jump State Park

It was a fun week of learning new ways to teach archaeology, visiting Madison Buffalo Jump State Park and the Museum of the Rockies, and meeting educators and archaeologists from around the country. The 5-day workshop underscored the importance of working with descendants to learn about the past, how archaeology contributes to inquiry-based learning, ways to connect archaeological education to common core standards, and a lot more.

Dr. Emerson Emerson Bull Chief, Crow Tribal Historic Preservation Officer, talking about Native American buffalo stories.

Dr. Emerson Bull Chief, Crow Tribal Historic Preservation Officer, talking about Native American buffalo stories.

Panorama of the Buffalo Jump.

Panorama of Madison Buffalo Jump State Park.

When I was an undergraduate student, if someone asked me: “What does an archaeologist do?”, it never would have occurred to me that archaeologists teach educators (and other people) to teach about the past. This is changing as archaeologists have come to recognize the importance of working with communities and teaching others to think like archaeologists. But I hadn’t thought about how important it is to teach educators to teach archaeology until Courtney Agenten pointed it out during the workshop. As an archaeologist, I have taught an archaeology camp for 10-15 students, which I wrote about last year. The students learned about the process of archaeology from excavation to lab work and from artifact analysis to report writing. In the process, they developed a love for learning about and preserving the past. But if I teach 10-15 educators to teach archaeology in their science or social studies classes, in one year, those teachers have the potential to teach 250-375 students about the importance of archaeology. That’s a huge impact if you think about how many students could be reached in 10 years!

So now as I sit at my desk in front of my computer, like so many of my days of archaeology, I am inspired by my experience at the Project Archaeology Leadership Academy to teach their fun curricula about shelter and nutrition. I am also motivated to continue to develop high-quality lesson plans focused on archaeological sites in Arkansas that teachers can implement in their classrooms. Thanks to the support of the Southeastern Archaeological Conference, the Arkansas Archeological Society, the Arkansas Humanities Council, and the National Endowment for the Humanities, the curriculum should be available this fall. Check out the Arkansas Archeological Survey’s website for classroom materials currently available to teachers and keep an eye out for new things to come. arkansasarcheology.org

 

Grading- Technology- Archaeology

Jane Eva Baxter, Associate Professor of Anthropology, DePaul University, Chicago, Illinois USA.  Email: jbaxter@depaul.edu  Twitter: @janeevabaxter

 

Reading all of these entertaining Day of Archaeology posts puts my day into perspective.

Fieldwork? No.

Analyses in the lab? No.

Fun technology? No.

Travel? No.

Public engagement? No.

Legos? No.

No, today on this day of archaeology I am grading final essays from my summer session online World Prehistory class. Don’t get me wrong- I love teaching. I am passionate about teaching. But grading? No one loves grading- especially in July.

Screen Shot 2015-07-24 at 11.08.18 AM

We all know that undergraduate essays have the ability to unintentionally revise the past in ways that are most improbable and amusing. See the classic, “Life in the Past Reeked with Joy” as a delightful example. Archaeological essays are often filled with similar types of revisions. Ever imagine what it was like for a Chrome Magnum to hunt a wholly mammoth? Or, wonder who is included in the species Homo Gorgeous? And, who hasn’t been amazed by a famous find in China- an entire army of Terra Cotta Worriers. My current students are on top of proofreading and autocorrect, and no inadvertent revisionist archaeology has taken place. In fact, they’ve provided a really excellent set of essays, and I’m quite pleased.

Evaluating student work is also a way of evaluating one’s own teaching. Successful students are, at least in part, a reflection of a successful class experience. Because I teach my World Prehistory class online, I’m always acutely aware of the disjoin between the multi-sensory, tactile, and material world of archaeology, and the relatively disembodied, non-sensory experiences that characterize online learning. How can I convey archaeology as a discipline, as a practice, as a community, and as a way of thinking to students who may never experience archaeology beyond this online course?

Trying to solve this pedagogical problem requires me to draw heavily on my archaeological training. Archaeology is a discipline focused on technology, particularly how technology mediates, reflects, and structures social relationships. Teaching online demands that I constantly consider how technology can be used most effectively to create a community of learners, to formulate relationships between my students and I, and to enable certain types of learning experiences that connect students to archaeology in meaningful ways. I also have to consider how technology works in the worlds of my students, recognizing that my perspective on course structure and design as a 44-year-old professor may not translate well into the world of my 20-something students. In other words, I have to think about how technology functions both to create and bridge generation gaps.

All of these questions about technology and pedagogy have archaeological parallels, particularly to my own work on the archaeology of childhood, which focuses on inter-generational understandings of technology and material culture. I am grateful to be a part of a discipline where technology can be a catalyst for exploring and understanding human relationships in the past and in my online classroom. Now back to those essays…

Less Glamorous Summer of One College Professor

By now it should be clear that college professors don’t really have summers off. Some of my colleagues have posted about their summer fieldwork, teaching, or writing, but many of us are also preparing for the coming academic year.

Starting this fall, I am entering into a partnership with the local National Park Service to provide them with archaeological expertise and my students with real-world experience in cultural resource management. On the surface that seems like great fun, and it is, but it also a lot of work. I’ve spent weeks upgrading an archaeology lab to handle the influx of projects, artifacts, and student workers. This takes time, money, and a large dose of patience.

 

Tray

How difficult is it to order trays for the archaeology lab?

For example, I ordered 24 trays to hold artifacts for analysis. A week after placing the order I received a large box with one tray in it. Several phone calls later it was clear that if I returned this one tray they would send out a new set of 24. Single tray returned and one week later I received another large box with one tray in it. Phone calls… return single tray again… 24 trays arrive three weeks after placing the order. (If you think that is crazy, you don’t want to know how many emails it takes to get an electrical outlet installed.)

 

Birds

These birds crashed into my office window and now they are part of my comparative collection.

Within archaeology I specialize in bone identification. Preparing to teach forensic anthropology this spring means many hours spent in the lab sorting bones that have become unorganized over the past year. Boxes, bags, labels, and a good music playlist make time fly by as I work to re-associate a femur with a tibia and a clavicle with a sternum. Once the human collection is reorganized it is time to clean off some of the new animal skeletons and get them in color coded and labeled boxes. Until last week I had 15 animals decomposing in my backyard. Now I have two.

 

Crypt

A geocache was hidden against the outside wall of this crypt but it looks like people have broken into it.

 

Because my love of the outdoors goes along with my love for archaeology, I am taking breaks from all this lab and administrative work to go geocaching. This spring I am teaching a new course called Maps, Culture, and Archaeology. I hope to use geocaching to teach students how to navigate with paper maps and with handheld GPS units. That means I need to get better at geocaching and setup the new GPS units. The last cache I found was at this crypt – coordinates are N 40° 49.994 W 083° 07.923

 

My Day of Archaeology may not have been glamorous but I accomplished a lot of things that will help make the next academic year run more smoothly.

ArchaeoLandscapes Europe

Increasing Public Appreciation, Understanding and Conservation of the Landscape and the Archaeological Heritage of Europe

Archaeology can be so fascinating – digs in nice and exotic places, meeting new people and experiencing new cultures, teaching students and learning from students, telling stories about the past to the public.

But I am sitting in my office in Frankfurt/Main (Germany) today and trying to cope with our new website. The old one was hacked a while ago to be used for DoS attacks on another server so we had to take it offline. We used that opportunity to refresh the old page so now I am working on tinkering the new site a bit, adding content here and there, trying to find mistakes and replacing some placeholder images with pictures from the project before the site will go live again as soon as the provider has managed the domain transfer.

Sounds all rather boring but in the end it’s exactly part of the things I like so much in archaeology: teaching and telling stories! And the background of the webpage of course is the project ArchaeoLandscapes Europe (ArcLand), funded by the EU culture programme for 5 years (sept 2010 – sept 2015) to foster all kinds of remote sensing and surveying techniques, to spread the knowledge all over Europe within the archaeological community and of course also to the broader public. It’s about telling the public that archaeology is more than a dig in a temple in the jungle or an investigation of a pyramid. It’s also – and mainly (?) – about understanding the history of a landscape and the people that lived in it, it’s about trying to find out how people could cope with their environs and which traces they left – and it’s about finding these traces. From the air (aerial archaeology, LiDAR, satellite imagery) and from the ground (geophysics, field walking) and in all cases non-invasive.

From left to right: near infrared aerial image - rob aerial image - LiDAR scan - geomagnetic survey

From left to right: near infrared aerial image – rob aerial image – LiDAR scan – geomagnetic survey

And yes, this is absolutely fascinating – and it brings me to many nice (though not always exotic) places where I meet new people and old friends, where I experience new and well known cultures and where I have the opportunity to tell the stories that are relevant within the framework of the project. It is talking to archaeologists who know a lot about the remote sensing and surveying techniques and learning a lot from them, it is talking to students to make them aware of the fantastic options of these techniques and it is talking to the public to share the fascination that I still feel when I look at a newly discovered site on an aerial image, on a landscape palimpsest on a LiDAR scan or on the hidden subsoil feature visible in the geophysical data.

I really feel very happy when I can see that the grants that our project provided helped students and young researchers to experience new techniques, to exchange knowledge and expertise with other people and to meet people from different areas of Europe to widen their (cultural) perspective. And I am happy to see that all these activities have always been a lot of fun for all those that have been involved.

amersfoort

ArcLand partners meeting in Amersfoort (NL) in 2013

Sure, it’s a EU project which means that there is a lot of administrational work to do. The EU is supporting us with a lot of money and I can understand that they want to make sure that this money is well spend. Still, I am swearing a lot over time sheets and lists of invoices and all that. But that is a very fair price for all the options this support offers to many people all over Europe and abroad! And it shows that Europe is more than a bunch of bureaucrats that only care about the bend of bananas to be imported into the EU! Seeing all these people from the Baltic to the Iberian Peninsula, from Ireland to the Balkan getting together, learning from each other , exchanging ideas and enjoying themselves at our workshops, at our conferences or when visiting our travelling exhibition really makes me feel the the idea of a joint and peaceful Europe is worth all that money.

So all in all, working on a webpage is not that bad, it’s raining outside anyway, so I am sitting in my dry office and I know that the work that I am doing is one tessera in the large archaeological mosaic. Watch out for our webpage http://www.archaeolandscapes.eu to go live again hopefully soon!

Tours, Tatty Bags & Bits in Boxes

Showing my visitor around the stores. I’m the one wearing the attractive ID card jewellery.

I’m a lecturer and Keeper of Collections at the Institute of Archaeology, UCL. At this time of year, teaching has finished and our students have started to wander off to do fieldwork or work on their dissertations (or at least that’s what they tell us). Things tend to calm down a bit as a result, and we get a chance to wrap up the last bits of marking and turn to our own research projects. For me, this often means a chance to work on sorting out problems on the collections side of things, although we usually see a steady stream of visiting researchers through the summer, as they exploit their own semester breaks.

For today, my main concern is finishing off some postgraduate marking, but already I’ve a couple of other things booked that might distract me from that for a while. We’ll see how it pans out. (more…)

Scouting museum collections for teaching

The Maxwell Museum of Anthropology at the University of New MexicoHad to interrupt the morning identification to head over to the Maxwell Museum.    Every time I head in to the Maxwell I wonder, why don’t I come here more often?  It’s a terrific museum – definitely worth a visit if you’re ever in the Albuquerque area.

I visited the Maxwell this morning to look for a collection for my zooarchaeology class to work with this fall.  I need an assemblage small enough that students can manage it as a part of the class but large enough – and identifiable enough – for students to learn from.  Fortunately there are several options at the Maxwell, and they are well-curated  (not always a given) and so will be easy to work with.  Dave Phillips, curator of archaeology, kindly interrupted his morning to show me some possibilities.

I think we’re going to go with the faunal material from the Tijeras Pueblo archaeological site – there’s plenty of it, there’s good chronological control, and there’s the potential for the students to come up with some interesting research questions.

So you want to be a Roman bioarchaeologist…

If you’re anything like me, you’ve wanted to dig up the bones of dead Romans for as long as you can remember.  (Well, except for that brief period where I wanted to dig up dinosaurs and the even briefer one where I thought I might become a mathematician.)  But if you live in the southern U.S. like I do, you’re certainly not discovering Roman skeletons in your garden all the time.  What does a Roman bioarchaeologist do every day?  Generally, teach, research, and talk to colleagues and the public about teaching and research.

Osteology Field Lecture

Sometimes I get to teach osteology in the field (Tuscany, Summer 2004)

Teaching.  The great thing about the American incarnation of the discipline of anthropology – something I didn’t honestly learn until graduate school – is that it’s what we call four-field: it combines archaeological, biological, cultural, and linguistic approaches to understanding humankind, past and present.  As a university professor, it means that, in a given semester, I teach undergraduates about genetics, monkeys, and cultural relativism more often than I talk about my own research projects on the ancient Romans.  But the amazingly diverse subject matter of my typical Introduction to Anthropology course also means that I can draw from almost any topic in the week’s news to illustrate my lectures and to foster discussion: How does the hubbub over the “gay caveman” from the Czech Republic reflect our preconceived notions about sexuality?  Why does anyone care if Shakespeare – or any Elizabethan Brit – smoked pot?  Who polices American gender norms, telling us that little boys can’t paint their toenails pink and little girls shouldn’t pretend to nurse their dolls?  In teaching students about anthropology, I try to teach them to question the ideas we take for granted and to critique the categories that we often think of as inherent and immutable, to let them see that every culture has its own rules and is a product of its own time.

Roman Woman with Healed Broken Nose

Roman Woman with Healed Broken Nose

Research.  I’m not going to lie – fieldwork is the best part of my job.  Who wouldn’t like digging up dead Romans by day and eating pizza in the shadow of the Colosseum by night?  While teaching gives me the thrill of watching students who have never been exposed to anthropology realize they love it, holding the bones of someone long-dead and reading their biography from their bodies still gives me chills.  After two millennia, the Romans introduce themselves to me, telling me where they were born, showing me their scars, and complaining about their arthritic knees.  It can be hard to listen to the woman with a fractured nose (a victim of domestic violence?) and especially to the babies who didn’t have a chance to grow up because of a simple lack of antibiotics and multivitamins.  And yet, as the field of bioarchaeology has advanced and incorporated the techniques of chemical analysis, my research on the ancient Romans has gone beyond the wildest dreams of my 12-year-old self.  I’ve gotten to identify immigrants to Rome and to investigate their lives in the largest urban center of its time, a topic the historical sources rarely discuss.  I’ve gotten to find out what the average Roman ate, and to see that their childhood diet was actually quite different from what they ate as adults.  And I’ve gotten to work with an array of amazing international archaeologists and anthropologists along the way.

Outreach.  The final piece of my job is not mandatory but is becoming increasingly common.  In his keynote address at the American Anthropological Association meeting last fall, the archaeologist Jeremy Sabloff pointed out that there are no academics representing the face of anthropology.  We no longer have a Margaret Mead or a Franz Boas. Moving the discipline forward in the digital age, he said, means that it’s going to be “public or perish.”  So why be content with the few dozen people who will read your dissertation?  Being an academic today is about putting yourself out there as an expert, being the face of some topic, the person who can explain the importance of an anthropological concept to students and the public.  I have tried to take up this challenge with my own blog, which I envision as a public form of the informal communication that I have all the time with my colleagues.  Through blogging, I have started discussions with people in my field, in other academic disciplines, and outside of the academy completely.  It’s also been useful as a way for me to work through my plot bunnies (or academic otters), those nagging ideas that may not be fully formed but need to get out so that I can focus on one thing at a time.  Fortunately, other academics are also choosing this route to public engagement, and projects like Day of Archaeology allow us to contribute to a broader discussion of what the discipline means and how best to show others our enthusiasm for it.

It’s certainly not easy being a bioarchaeologist in academia, juggling several facets of our work on a daily basis and multitasking like mad.  But the rewards are fantastic: not just flying around the world to excavate in exotic locales, but watching students have “a-ha” moments after a heated discussion about evolution, and explaining to the public why we anthropologists don’t single out the privileged few who “shaped” society while ignoring the millions of others who actually made that society function.

I may not be a dinosaur-mathematician, but I’ve discovered that my childhood dream of studying the dead could come true with a little hard work.   I will continue to define myself broadly as an anthropologist and narrowly as a Roman bioarchaeologist for as long as I can.


 Kristina Killgrove currently teaches anthropology at Vanderbilt University, researches the Romans at Gabii, and interacts with the public through her blog (Powered by Osteons) and her Twitter feed (@BoneGirlPhD).