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Students at Anthropology Department Shared Lightning Talks on International Archaeology Day 2021

  • Group Photo IAD 2021
    Group Photo IAD 2021  Students at Anthropology Department present their research on Oct 24th, 2021, International Archaeology Day (IAD).  
  • Annabelle Lewis IAD 2021
    Annabelle Lewis IAD 2021  MA student Annabelle Lewis is giving a talk on burial practices in the American South East  
  • Carol Oordt IAD 2021
    Carol Oordt IAD 2021  MA Student Carol Oordt is showing the results of a use-wear analysis on shell tools in Society Islands in the South Pacific Ocean.  
  • Emily Hull 2021 IAD
    Emily Hull 2021 IAD  MA student Emily Hull is talking about the relationship between social identity and stone tool use.  
  • Malachi Tripald IAD 2021
    Malachi Tripald IAD 2021  PhD student Malachi Tripald sheds light on how archaeologists adopt a bio-cultural approach to know about societal problems in recent past through skeletal analysis. Malachi shows a project conducted in Richmond area.  
  • Allie Mead 2021 IAD
    Allie Mead 2021 IAD  PhD student Allie Mead analyzes the life of Women in the South Welsh coal mines from a perspective of socio-cultural anthropology.  
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Every October, archaeologists across the globe come together to celebrate International Archaeology Day (IAD). Unlike other festivals, IAD does not call for a parade or a feast. Rather, archaeologists see IAD as an opportunity for public education: on that day, members of archaeological communities, senior or junior, present their research findings to the public and exchange archaeological ideas with one another. The Department of Anthropology at William & Mary also participates in this tradition.

On Sunday, Oct 24,  seven archaeologists/anthropologists in training with the Department of Anthropology presented a series of lightning talks at the International Archaeology Day event co-organized by the Department of Classical Studies and the Department of Anthropology. The research projects covered a wide range of topics, from cultural changes and continuities throughout time within a region (Annabelle Lewis) to the relationship between technology and social identities (Emily Hull). Regional interests featured in the talks were global in scope, including Oceania (Caroline Donovan), Polynesia (Carol Oordt), and Wales (Allie Mead). These topics concern not only archaeologists and historians alike, but individuals curious about the connections between our past and the present. The lightening talks demonstrated different approaches to archaeological questions, as well as technological and methodological possibilities for solving archaeological puzzles. Caroline Watson, a PhD student, revealed how Geographic Information System tools (GIS) can be used to collect information about the spatial distribution of archaeological features. Such data can enhance archaeologists’ understanding of people’s cultural constructions of landscapes. Malachi Tripaldi, another PhD student, showed the potential of biological-cultural approaches in extracting social information from skeletons, a method that has helped scholars rectify narratives misrepresented in the recent past. Allie Mead, a PhD student with a background in archaeology and cultural anthropology, brought an anthropological perspective into the IAD conversation by presenting a case study that unfolded the picture of females’ lives in South Wales from 1947 to 1985.

For these emerging scholars, the IAD event was both an occasion for academic communication and a platform where their projects could be heard by a broader audience. When talking about the experiences in the event, MA student Annabelle Lewis mentioned, “Six graduate students and one undergraduate student from the Anthropology Department had the opportunity to present brief talks on our research to other William & Mary students and the general public. I enjoyed being able to practice my presentation skills while also supporting my colleagues in Anthropology and making new connections with members of the Classics department. I really appreciate Dr. Paga’s hard work in making the event a success.”   Caroline Donovan, an undergraduate student who presented her research on the gender publishing patterns in Oceania archaeology, also highlighted the bridging effect of the event. “Participating in International Archaeology Day gave me an opportunity to present my preliminary research and connect with graduate archaeology students,” said Caroline. “It was a wonderful experience to hear students speak about their exciting work!”