I am a graduate student who is currently studying for my Master’s degree in Anthropology at Northern Illinois University, and who hopes to become a full-time archaeologist. In between semesters up at NIU, I’m attending the field school at Kampsville to gain more professional experience with field techniques and equipment specific to archaeology. While I have attended one previous field school that focused on a different historic site in central Illinois, that school did not have access to some of the more modern tools archaeologists frequently use to locate, excavate, and interpret sites, and I want to stay up to date with the “toolbox”.
I have been interested in archaeology for as long as I can remember, in all of its forms. Rediscovering lost pieces of the past can often feel like putting together a puzzle where the box is missing, the pieces aren’t all there, and what pieces you do have don’t always fit together. To me, this makes it all the more gratifying when you’re able to dig up evidence that can solidly prove or disprove a written account, a story handed down through generations by word of mouth, or even the theories about particular places, people, or artifacts that other archaeologists and their work have built over time. Maybe I won’t discover anything earth-shattering about Mound House or any other site I work on, but I can lend the little piece I’ve discovered to the puzzle and hope everyone’s combined efforts can put the whole picture together.
Tomorrow, we’ll start surveying to see what’s under the soil without actually disturbing the location. Here’s hoping that the weather holds out (Quick, Jason, say it’ll rain this time!), and our equipment will cooperate.