I am participating in this internship because I believe in learning from history. The famous phrase that says, “those who ignore the past are doomed to repeat it” is an important phrase for all cultures to learn from. When people, as a civilization, do not learn about who they are, how they got here, and what obstacles their predecessors faced, how are they to live properly? I firmly believe that you need to learn from your own past mistakes and the past mistakes of your ancestors and others’ ancestors in order for our civilization to continue. Establishing a survival without hurting themselves, others or the environment. To do this we need to study archaeological sites and other cultures. I was fortunate enough to be able to do this over this past summer through the IFR and the Balkan Heritage Foundation in the form of a field school.
During the field school, I participated in a three-week conservation program of Roman ceramics and glass in Macedonia at the Stobi archaeological site. Directly after that I also completed a two-week conservation program on the conservation of Greek ceramics in Sozopol, Bulgaria. Being able to learn in a hands-on environment in two different countries was the most amazing experience of my life. By analyzing the ceramics, we could tell what kinds of people used these vessels, when they were used and how they were used. We also learned how to tell where the clay was taken from in that area and by doing this we could theorize what was going on in the region at that time.
I am interested in taking everything that I enjoyed doing in my field school and bring it back home. In doing this I would be contributing to the overall understanding of what was going on at Strawbery Banke over time and possibly at other locations within the region. By helping in any way to continue the archaeological process in my home state as well as in other countries I am helping recover past people’s stories that haven’t been told for a few hundred years. This is why I became interested in archaeology in the first place. You are reviving an action that someone did in the past. Such as, making a piece of pottery and reliving the action by rubbing your fingers along the indentations left behind by the potter’s hands. Or walking along an ancient road once used by an entire village. Or standing in a house where a family once lived together. Reviving history keeps people’s personal and cultural significance alive. This is why I love archaeology and this is why I wanted to participate in this internship at Strawbery Banke.