Students Participate in Summer Excavations

August 27, 2019

As the new academic term threatens arrival, many of our undergraduate and graduate students will be returning to campus refreshed and enlightened by their experiences travelling abroad this summer.

June found undergraduate concentrators Leina Thurn ‘20, Avner Goldstein ‘21, and Noelia Carbajal ‘22 participating in Florida State University’s excavations at Cosa, a Roman town in southern Tuscany inhabited intermittently from the 3rdcentury BCE to the Middle Ages. The season’s work centered around the town’s baths, investigating the structure’s size and phasing in order to understand the history of its use.

In July, Thurn, graduate student Sarah Johnson, and Professor Caroline Cheung all participated in the Contrada Agnese Project’s excavations at the Hellenistic site at Morgantina in Sicily. There, they researched large Greek storage vessels known as pithoi found at the site, paying particular attention to the technologies employed to repair these vessels in antiquity. 

Excavating can be hard work, but students manage to have fun too. Thurn reports that on her weekends, she visited archaeological sites throughout Italy, including Ostia, Pompeii, Herculaneum, and the Villa del Casale, as well as modern cities and towns like Rome, Naples, Capalbio, and Siracusa.

The department can take pride in knowing that these students will return to the classroom with an expanded sense of the material aspects of the study of the ancient world – and maybe with a little Italian dirt under their fingernails.

This report was compiled by William Dingee, a PhD candidate in the department, based on information supplied by Leina Thurn ’20 and Professor Caroline Cheung.

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