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You dig? Anthropology students scour campus site (videos)

September 14, 2011

At Beloit College, even something like installing a new campus sign becomes a chance for students to get their hands dirty and gain resume-worthy experiences.

Associate Professor of Anthropology Shannon Fie has her students carefully combing the dirt in the patch of land between College Street and the World Affairs Center, in a space that will soon sport a new campus map and brick landscaping, pictured below.

bricks walkway 

The landscaping will feature the bricks recognizing the faculty and staff who supported the recently completed Classic. Daring. Life-Changing. fundraising campaign.

But for now, the members of Fie’s Principles of Archaeology class are learning the importance of sharp shovels, considerate sifting, and careful cataloging of artifacts.

“Right now, we’re very much in a historic mixed zone,” Fie says, though she adds that when a similar excavation was conducted prior to the campus sign installation just a few hundred yards away, “deeper down, we’ll find pre-historic material.” During that prior dig, students found pieces of pottery dating back to 700-600 A.D. Any artifacts will be catalogued in the Logan Museum. (Hear more from Fie in this video.)

“It’s really great being able to be outside, and get hands-on experience,” says Julia Lacher’13, a double major in anthropology and history. “It’s something you can put on your resume, as well.”

See the students at work here.