Tag: research

Modeling the Past: Photogrammetry and Anthropological Research

Modeling the Past: Photogrammetry and Anthropological Research

For my CAP project this year, I decided to do something at which I feel I’m particularly good: creating 3D models of artifacts found during CAP excavations. I have been using digital technologies to render 3D models for about three years now and have created […]

MSU at the Midwest Archaeological Conference

MSU at the Midwest Archaeological Conference

Next week is the annual Midwest Archaeological Conference (October 4-6, 2018) in Notre Dame. Below is a list of dates and times of all MSU presentations, posters, and discussants. Included in these are two posters on Campus Archaeology projects that you should check out! Friday, […]

The Sweet Side of History: Investigating an Old MSU Sugar House

The Sweet Side of History: Investigating an Old MSU Sugar House

Speaking as a person with a serious sweet tooth, maple syrup may be one of the greatest products of nature. It is tasty, versatile, and can be made by anyone with enough maple trees and a hot flame. It also has been a part of life in the upper Midwest for longer than many people realize. While evidence of prehistoric production has largely alluded archaeologists, archaeological and documentary evidence demonstrate the production of maple sugar foodstuffs by early historic Native American tribes in the 1700s, if not earlier (Thomas 2005; Thomas and Silbernagel 2003). Since that time, different people and different technologies have shaped the production process, as maple syrup and sugar became important foodstuffs across the country. While not quite centuries old, MSU also has a long history of working with maple products. This year, as part of our work for the Campus Archaeology Program, myself and Jack Biggs will be researching this history, as well as investigating an old, abandoned MSU sugarbush (a forest stand used for maple syrup production).

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Big Changes Coming in MSU Campus Archaeology’s Future

Big Changes Coming in MSU Campus Archaeology’s Future

The 2017-18 academic year will be a momentous one for MSU Campus Archaeology. We are now an established entity in the University with our own budget and clear goals, but as of May 2018, I (Lynne Goldstein) will be retiring from MSU, and the MSU […]

Four Pickles for Dinner? Trials and Tribulations of Archival Research and Tips for Success

Four Pickles for Dinner? Trials and Tribulations of Archival Research and Tips for Success

History is fleeting yet enduring. We hardly ever realize that we are making it, but the remnants of our historic actions can sometimes remain long after they are done. Things casually jotted down, random papers and notes tucked away—these are items we don’t realize that […]

CAP- Year in Review

CAP- Year in Review

As the final week of the semester winds down, CAP wanted to look back at all we’ve accomplished this year. In addition to our public outreach projects, which included Michigan Archaeology Day, Science Fair at Bennett Woods Elementary, Science Fest at East Olive, and the Haunted Campus Tour, our CAP fellows have been hard at work on their own projects and papers.

Katy Meyers-Emery

This semester, I’ve been working on a number of projects. The first is research into the history, archaeology and perceptions of the Sacred Space. This work will be presented at the Cultural Landscapes and Heritage Values Conference as part of the SAA sponsored session. The second is preparing for the summer Campus Archaeology field school. I will be the Teaching Assistant for the field school, which is an exciting opportunity for me to learn to teach in this unique manner. In addition to these two projects, I also helped with the creation of a game for Science Fest and other kid’s archaeological events. The game involves a mock stratigraphy with different types of soil based on what they think the artifact is and how old they think it is. I helped develop a proposal for a sustainability grant, and also tested out some new digital methods of recording in the field. As usual, I have blogged throughout the semester on a variety of topics, helped to maintain and update the website and aided in Science Fest.

Nicole Geske

I researched the best way to approach our outreach. From seeing what others have done for their archaeological outreach, it was determined that we should instead focus on creating “toolboxes” that could be loaned out to various teachers or educators. These have not been fully completed as of yet, but we have a list of topics and materials that would be included within them. At this point, we just need to create them. It was also determined that there were some instances that were better suited for us to interact with students directly, especially for campus- based events, suh as Science Fest and Grandparents University. For these events,  I developed and modified activities that could be utilized. I also examined sustainability through time on campus for our presentation at the Cultural Landscapes and Heritage Values Conference in May. Finally, I accessioned and cataloged the collections from previous excavations and field work on campus.

Josh Burbank

This year my projects included completing a panel on the history of students at MSU to be displayed at the new Graduate School location in Chittenden Hall. I’ve been working with Amy on the presentation for the Cultural Landscapes and Heritage Values Conference. Our paper seeks to understand if “gendered” spaces can be predicted on campus. Throughout the year I conducted research at the University Archives to learn more about MSU’s original Engineering Building, which was destroyed by a fire in 1916, and Wells Hall #2, which was demolished in 1966 to make room for an addition to the Main Library. This research was done in preparation for the upcoming field school.

Amy Michaels

During the fall semester I worked on two different panels for the Chittenden Hall displays. The first panel reviewed the history of the building through time, while the second panel focused on the history of Lab Row. Throughout both semesters, i continued to collect data from the University Archives for the gendered landscape project. A summary of the project will be presented at the Cultural Landscapes and Heritage Values Conference. Finally, I completed a draft of the gendered landscape paper the I will work on with Dr. Goldstein to submit for publication.

Lisa Bright

This year I focused on the completion of a panel for the Chittenden display. The panel discussed the relationship between CAP and Graduate School. This spring, I spent extensive time in the archives researching the possible origin of the Hannah Admin assemblage. Kate and I were able to locate a possible source for the high quality ceramics, the Ana Bayha Home Management House. Finally, I’ve been working with Nicole and Amy on a presentation for the the Cultural Landscape and Heritage Values Conference on MSU’s sustainability practices through time.

Blair Zaid

I’ve had three major projects this year.  The first was the Sacred Space panel for Chittenden Hall. I integrated the work of previous CAP fellows with what I learned from the cultural heritage course with Dr. Goldstein to create a publicly accessible display of the links between MSU, archaeology, and cultural heritage. My year long project in 3D technology has introduced me to a number of resources and people through twitter, campus, and plain old face-to-face conversations. My ultimate goal was to identify a free and easy way to display 3D pictures of on the CAP website.  This project is still underway and as I’ve teamed up with members of MSU LEADR to bring the project to completion this summer. For my last major project I am working with Kate on a presentation for the Cultural Landscapes and Heritage Values conference. This paper will explore potential relationships between MSU’s prehistoric site to their cultural heritage initiatives. Ultimately, we are attempting to come up with some meaningful ideas for how to incorporate local Native American pasts into MSU’s present.

Anthropology Students Present at UURAF 2015

Anthropology Students Present at UURAF 2015

Friday I had the privilege of evaluating the Anthropology section of the University Undergraduate Research and Arts Forum (UURAF) in the MSU Union. I was very impressed with the quality of research and the ability of each presenter to discuss their project goals and outcomes. […]

Meet CAP’s Fall Fellows

Meet CAP’s Fall Fellows

Kate Frederick– Kate is a fourth year PhD student, and is beginning her second year as Campus Archaeologist. Though her dissertation research revolves around hunter-gatherer food storage practices in northern lower Michigan, she has found a true passion in the history of MSU. For her […]

Fresh Semester with Fresh Faces: Welcome this Year’s CAP Grad Students

Fresh Semester with Fresh Faces: Welcome this Year’s CAP Grad Students

In order to achieve the goals of Campus Archaeology (and to lessen the burden of the campus archaeologist), every year CAP works with several graduate students on a handful of intriguing projects. These projects use the artifacts, excavation reports and historic documents to conduct research about MSU’s past and engage the public in archaeology.  Meet our new fresh and fit CAP grad students!

Amy Michael has worked for Campus Archaeology for the past two years and is excited to start her third year as a CAP researcher. Her ongoing project is on the sustainability of the historic MSU campus with data drawn from both archival records and material culture. She has worked cooperatively with the MSU Archives to locate and record information related to early sustainability practices on campus with a focus on food, energy, and transportation. These themes can be traced from the inception of the college up to modern times, with archaeological data supporting how changes in food, energy, and transportation practices were employed or experienced by students and faculty on the historic campus. This semester, she will continue to work with MSU Archives to identify documents and photographs that can further explain some of the material culture recovered in CAP excavations. Her goal this semester is to draft a manuscript with Dr. Lynne Goldstein and former CAP researcher Dr. Jennifer Bengtson reporting the findings of their collective project. They intend to publish the results in a journal focusing on sustainability at the university level.

 

Blair Zaid is a dual Ph.D. student in African American and African Studies and Anthropology. Her graduate research focuses on the Kongo Kingdom of west central Africa. She looks forward to beginning her second year as a member of CAP. This year she will continue her typology project in which she is constructing a typology that will be used to assist future students with adding new information to our collections as CAP continues to unearth MSU’s past. Blair looks forward to incorporating the fantastic finds from this summer’s field research.

 

Andrew LoPinto is not only new to CAP, but he is also a new student in our Anthropology Department here at MSU. His specific research interests are in bioarchaeology, mortuary analysis and Egyptian archaeology.  He hopes that his experience in Egyptian mummies will add a fresh spin to our research at CAP.

As a new addition to the Campus Archaeology Program, Andrew’s project will focus on our social media. His project aims to generate creative ways to engage the public and enhance our public archaeology outreach.

 

Katy Meyers is a fourth year PhD graduate student studying mortuary archaeology. Her research specifically focuses on examining the spatial relationship between cremation and inhumation burials in Anglo-Saxon cemeteries. She enjoys working both in the field on various projects and on the digital side of archaeology. She has been an active member of the Campus Archaeology Program since her first year here. For the past two years, she has been the CAP’s Campus Archaeologist and is proud to continue working with CAP in her new role as a graduate research fellow. Over the next year, she will be helping CAP to accession their sites, and developing a more enhanced GIS system. You can learn more about her personal research and interests at www.bonesdontlie.com, and follow her @bonesdonotlie.

 

Adrianne Daggett is a PhD Candidate in the MSU Department of Anthropology, and although she has been in the department for some years, this is her first year of involvement with Campus Archaeology. She is quite excited to get in on the action in what is hopefully her last year in the graduate program here. Over the last few years she has been working on her dissertation research based in Botswana. Her research focuses on small-scale prehistoric farming and herding settlements in the Kalahari Desert, how they used their local landscape, and their involvement with the trade networks and political systems of their time in southern Africa. The project she will be developing for CAP is called ‘Dig the Past: A Hands-on Intro to Archaeology’, this project will culminate as a monthly series of hands-on activity sessions at the MSU Museum. Planning for this project is actually well underway, and the first session is scheduled for September 21st! The goal of the project is to increase public awareness and understanding of campus history and the nature and practice of archaeology through direct contact with archaeologists and artifacts, as well as to provide opportunities for anthropology students to gain experience working with a lay audience. If you’re interested in getting involved with ‘Dig the Past’ contact Adrianne at daggetta@msu.edu.

Changing Heart of MSU’s Campus: End of the Year Update

Changing Heart of MSU’s Campus: End of the Year Update

This academic year has been enlightening and challenging for me. I dove into continuing a specific project that explores the heart of campus at MSU. I used archival evidence to glean the social, structural and spacial landscape of campus throughout the four time periods of […]