Friday, June 5, 2015

A New Summer; A New Archaeology Intern

    I guess I’ll begin by saying - hey, readers! As the title implies, I am the new interning Archaeologist here at the Strawbery Banke Museum for summer 2015. Before I get into too much detail about our upcoming project, I’ll introduce myself and give a little more detail regarding the where I’m from (let’s just say that New England is also ‘New Territory’ for me), and what I do, or would like to do.

     My name is Laura and I hail all the way from Gainesville, FL. I currently attend the University of Florida, where I am working on my B.A. in both Anthropology and Jewish Studies. After completing two field schools through my university, one historic and the other pre-historic, I came to realize Archaeology was a lineage of Anthropology that I enjoyed and would love to pursue (as you can tell I’m off to a great start). So, once I found out about an open position to intern under, not only a museum archaeologist, but one who had worked on projects that I resonated with (i.e. unearthing one of four known Jewish ritual bathhouses in the country) it was an absolute no brainer.

    Jewish bathhouse (mikveh) aside, I’ll dig into what we are focusing our attention on in the next week (no pun intended). In the next week our field school students and volunteers will start on excavating the outside parameters of the Yeaton-Walsh home; a historic home inhabited by a family of Irish immigrants throughout the latter half of the 19th century. It had been excavated previously by a former Strawbery Banke archaeologist, Sheila Charles, in 2007, however it is important to bring up the fact that digs don’t just end after one visit. It’s important to revisit sites and reexamine information so that we have as much data in order to form the best founded conclusion. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and in the same spirit two centuries worth of history cannot possibly be examined in the span of two weeks. So thus, it is pertinent that we continue to come back and make an effort to peel back the layers of time.

    Needless to say, I am very excited to be a part of this new archaeologic adventure and I’m even more excited to share it all here! So stay tuned for more upcoming entries regarding new discoveries and updates. What do you think an Irish immigrant family would leave to uncover from the 1850’s onward? I’m very curious myself. I truly believe the Yeaton-Walsh home will add a very exciting addition to the Irish immigrant narrative here at Strawbery Banke. 

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