Danielle Fischer — A Day Thinking About Archaeology

I graduated from Rutgers University (in Camden, New Jersey, USA) in May where I had the opportunity to learn archaeology in my last semester in a class taught by Kimberlee Moran. My only wish is that I found the subject sooner. I’ve spent all of my time since graduating trying to figure out how to do more Archaeology and this is what I write about today in my ‘Day of Archaeology’ contribution.

I’ve had a great education, but I spent the majority of it searching for the academic passion that motivated my best professors and most talented peers. Whenever I had the chance for an elective, I took it, hoping that underwater basket weaving or neurobiology would light the fire. I loved Anthropology, but that was really about it. Rutgers-Camden doesn’t really offer a degree in that subject, so I majored in sociology and took all the electives I was allowed. This led me to a quiet corner of the course selection where I found a “special topics” class. It grew to be the most absorbing course I’ve ever taken.

Professor Moran and her colleagues were funny, inviting, and easy to learn from. The time we spent in the classroom was invaluable: the new information about history, stratigraphy, and plan drawing prepared me well for my field experience. I had absolutely no concept of the sheer amount of skill it takes to be an archaeologist before I joined the class. Everyone I worked with was so knowledgeable and even more willing to share. They doubled my excitement! My first find was a small piece of glass, seemingly insignificant, but it felt like holding the Hope Diamond.

Whispering Woods is a gorgeous site. The forest is beautiful and enthralling and made me swear to work outdoors for a career. But the mystery is why I want to stay, why I want to learn more and keep studying. Human history calls to me, culture makes me curious, but archaeology is what I want to pursue for the rest of my life.

Danielle Fischer