Category Archives: Students in the Field

LiDAR Scans and Sacred Lakes: A Report from the 2014 Summer Season at Abydos- Part 2

Houmdi (left) and I (right) at his daughter’s wedding, sitting in the courtyard of his home built within the area of the Malih. Photo from Jamie Kelly

In my previous post, I talked about the technological methods utilized in Abydos this season. Another major part of my season at Abydos was to do a preliminary investigation of the sacred lake associated with the Osiris temple. The remnants of this sacred lake, known now as the Malih or the Salty, survived into the […]

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Archaeology at the border: Survey and excavation in Xinjiang (continued)

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As we approach the end of the field season, with 2 weeks remaining, the cold weather  also begins to settle in. Since I last wrote, the grass has yellowed, leaving flocks of sheep and cow to scavenge from what is left from a summer much drier than prior years. The rainmakers had to be called […]

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A Glance into the Lives of the Roman Peasantry: Four Weeks of Excavation with the Roman Peasant Project

Ceramics from the Tombarelle site

This summer, I had the pleasure of being accepted to be a part of the sixth and final season of the Roman Peasant Project. I excavated alongside a team of professional archaeologists, professors, and graduate, PhD, and undergraduate students in rural Tuscany in Cinigiano, a municipality in the Province of Grosseto. The site we excavated was called Tombarelle. The Roman Peasant Project, directed by Kim […]

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Baths in the Dirt: Season 2 at Cosa

Rainwater pooling on a floor made of  (still working!) Roman waterproof concrete

“Depart, work and troubles! Now I sing of the baths that sparkle with shining stones…” -Statius, Silvae 1.5 Roman baths were famous for their opulence and ubiquity, and are spoken of admiringly by a number of ancient authors. To excavate a Roman bath, however, is a different matter. The baths do not sparkle, nor do […]

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Sitz Unseen: Looking at Archaeological Sites

xanthos tomb

Many people think that archaeology is mainly about doing: breaking the ground with a pickaxe, shoveling and sifting dirt, using a trowel to uncover artifacts. These activities are all part of the archaeological process. But a large part of archaeology is about looking rather than doing. I am a fifth year PhD student in Penn’s […]

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Update from Iraqi Kurdistan

Neo-Assyrian levels on the southern slope of the tell

Covered with dirt from the excavation, I strive to make myself look presentable as a dust cloud in the distance signals the impending arrival of the director of antiquities and his entourage traveling in a caravan of white pickup trucks. As I bend down to retie my shoe, my eye is drawn to a rather […]

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LiDAR Scans and Sacred Lakes: A Report from the 2014 Summer Season at Abydos- Part 1

A LiDAR scan of Senebkay’s tomb

This summer at Abydos promised to be a busy and exciting season. The Penn research team (dubbed Team Hafla, which is Arabic for “party”) returned to Abydos after an exciting winter season with the discovery of King Senebkay and the Lost Abydos Dynasty. We were ready to continue exploring the cemetery around Senebkay as well […]

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Rainforest Reconnoitering

Drawing a defensive feature

Some of the most exciting archaeological fieldwork takes place during the survey phase of a project. Survey consists of various methods of covering a selected region to determine where concentrations of artifacts, features, and/or sites are present across the landscape. Survey usually makes up the preliminary phase of a project, which is why many of […]

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Out of Context – The Roman Peasant Project

Digging on site!

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I applied to be a part of the Roman Peasant Project this summer. The project, directed by Penn professors Kim Bowes and Cam Grey, seeks to investigate and understand the lifestyles of Roman peasants in rural Tuscany. (http://www.sas.upenn.edu/romanpeasants/) Although I have no experience in archeology, at the initial […]

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Archaeology at the border: survey and excavation in Xinjiang

The view from the site where I am excavating.

As far as archaeological fieldwork goes, there are certainly far less accommodating places than where I have fortunately found myself for three consecutive field seasons. My summer fieldwork in Bortala Mongol Autonomous Prefecture, a picturesque area of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region less than 30 km from China’s border with Kazakhstan, has offered just the […]

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