Social Sciences

Audrey Horning
Historical archaeology

Written history doesn’t always get it right. “What written history tends to tell us is the narrative about what was supposed to happen,” Audrey Horning says. And the gulf between what was supposed to happen and what actually happened can be particularly wide when the topic is the early days of colonial development.

Gérard Chouin (center) confers with Yoruba leader the Ooni of Ife (second from left) on an archaeological site in Nigeria.
Tracking the Black Death

After three years of work, Gérard Chouin is adamant that the medieval-era bubonic plague epidemic, the Black Death, spread to Sub-Saharan Africa and killed large numbers of people there as it did in Europe and the Mediterranean basin in the 14th century.

Martin Gallivan (in cap) discusses how to best excavate a hearth feature with (from left) Madeline Gunter, Jessica Bittner and Megan Willmes ’16 as Jak Scrivener ’ 16 takes field notes.
Understanding Kiskiack

Madeline Gunter and Jessica Bittner were using tablespoons to work around some rocks that were just beginning to peek through the troweled-flat, muddy-looking surface of their working unit. They weren't just random stones.

students working at the Bray School dig site
Digging for a smoking lunchbox

Archaeologists have a month to find the smoking lunchbox of the Bray School, and Terry Meyers has lost none of his optimism.

1977 police record of the capture of Dora Marta Landi
Searching for the ‘disappeared’

A dozen high-level Latin American military officers are on trial in Argentina for their role in Operation Condor, and William & Mary students have been assisting with the prosecution.


Diving in the Florida Keys at the age of 15, Erin Spencer caught a glimpse of a beautiful fish.

A tale of two cities

It was the best of times. Wahunsenacawh, also known as Chief Powhatan, had settled into a new capital town on a bay off what is now the York River.

Student historians (from left) Jack Middough, Sagra Alvarado, Crosby Enright, Tracey Johnson, Jessie Dzura
Spanish court

Domestic violence. Drug smuggling. Priests hauled into court for scandalous behavior. Welcome to Spain in the 17th century.

Niall Garrahan explores an outcrop in the Foothills
Wide open spaces

The numbers didn’t seem right. “I just didn’t expect the figure to be so big,” says Niall Garrahan ’14. Garrahan was looking at calculations related to the value of land purchased by the City of Boise, Idaho.

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