Class Year: 2017
Internship (Field School) Placement: The Sewanee Environmental Institute’s Summer Field School in Archaeology at The University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee.
What’s happening? We’d love to hear how your internship is going:
I had fantastic time at field school in archaeology, an intensive summer course that gave me hands on experience in archaeology methods and practice. The bulk of the program was spent excavating at Rebel’s Rest, a civil war-era house in the heart of the university’s campus that burned down last summer. Working in the field was new and thrilling—I worked on excavation units, learned how to record excavation information and draw maps, got some experience with geophysical field surveys, worked with artifacts in the lab, and collected and interpreted soil samples. It was also exciting to be involved in a project with particular significance for the community. There was a lot of local interest; Rebel’s Rest was the first building constructed after the university re-opened following the Civil War and was an important historical landmark for both the university and the town of Sewanee, so we had lots of visitors and volunteers coming in and out and asking about the site and the work we were doing. In addition to excavating in the field and processing in the lab, we got some classroom lessons from our faculty and took a trip to Russell Cave (shown in the picture), a major prehistoric archaeological site in Alabama.
Why I applied for my internship:
I knew how important it was if I wanted to work in archaeology to attend a field school, since they’re the best way to actually learn how to do archaeology—to get hands on experience and see if I actually enjoyed it (which I did!), to learn methods beyond what can be taught in a classroom, and to collaborate with students and faculty from other institutions and learn from them. I had a particularly exciting opportunity going to Sewanee because I worked on both a prehistoric site and the historic site (Rebel’s Rest), and also applied because it was run by a top geoarchaeologist, which is my particular area of interest. When I graduate, I’m really hoping to work in archaeology. I’m considering pursing a job with state or national parks but loved the work we did at the beginning of the program in prehistoric Southeastern archaeology at Pinson Mounds State Archaeological Park, so now I’m considering graduate school and a research track. Regardless, field school was integral in equipping me with the skills for either path, and I look forward to complementing it as I continue my major coursework back at the Mawr. I absolutely loved my time in Tennessee and am so grateful to have had this opportunity and for all of the doors it has opened!