BY LAURA LAPHAM
A junior here at Denison University, Jorn is a geology major and biology minor. She attended a Field school near Columbus. The Field School centered around a graveyard near the old Erie Canal. The grave centered around possible victims of Cholera, a disease that is spread by drinking water or eating food that is contaminated with human feces. Cholera victims typically die within a few hours to a few days after symptoms arise.
This graveyard had been unmaintained for years, so one goal of the Field students was to identify monuments for the graves in the yard, as well as study the epidemic. They would wake up at 9 a.m. to work through the yards and find divits in the ground, which usually marked graves. One take away from the experience was learning about the lives of those who were laid to rest in the graves.
In the class of 2020, Leuchter is pursuing a double major in history and geoscience. He attended The Vermilion Field School in Western Canada, which required an 8 hour drive through the Canadian wilderness just to reach the Field School.
Leuchter’s Field School worked on a site that was on of the oldest trading posts in Canada, which made it an important place of cross-cultural interaction between Natives and the French fur traders. One interesting item that Leuchter’s team found was a an old ring.
Taylor is a senior that studied abroad at a Field School in Ireland during her junior spring semester. The school, Ireland-Achill Archaeological Field School, was on an island called Achill Island, located off the north western shore of Ireland. There were many archeological digs on this island, and Maria worked around a Bronze-age round house.
Her group made many discoveries in the round house, such as uncovering a Fulacht Fiadh, a bronze age cooking pit. Although Taylor is on the pre-med track, that has not stopped her from enjoying her work with archeology.
Field Schools are an opportunity to get your hands dirty in a real digging. Field schools are open to many students and majors, but one must be careful to not choose the wrong Field School, since some are just glorified manual labor projects that you pay to do. If interested in a Field School, talk with the faculty of the school and Denison professors to pick the right project for your interest.
Also feel free to reach out to these students and hear more about their experience.
As Prof. Soderberg said, “These are three students who have created amazing experiences for themselves. A whole world of possibilities. Come talk to them.”