Idaho Springs, Colorado
French Major, Self-Designed Archaeology Minor
by Sheena Leano '12
For Emily Berarducci, hands-on learning means digging in the dirt for Iron Age artifacts at England's Eddisbury Hillfort. Emily, a French major, decided to design her own minor in archaeology after taking her first class in the field with history professor Danielle Fatkin.
"I have always been interested in a more get-in-the-dirt aspect of history. When a class on archaeological field methods was offered, I immediately decided to take it and my interest turned into a career goal," she said.
While spending her junior year abroad studying in Knox’s program in Besancon, France, Emily took a series of classes on regional archaeology at Universite de Franche-Comte. At the encouragement of Professor of Environmental Studies Katherine Adelsberger, a geoarchaeologist, Emily spent the summer at a field school at the University of Liverpool, which has a partnership with Knox on an excavation site in Dhiban, Jordan.
"My Knox professors have supported me in my endeavor to create a self-designed minor in archaeology, which has resulted in a wonderful experience in England and France, in addition to a well-rounded approach to archaeology," she said.
Emily said going to Liverpool Archaeology Field School worked out extremely well because her primary interest in archaeology is European prehistory. Since the field school is excavating on the Iron Age Eddisbury Hillfort, "it was a perfect fit."
Located in the county of Cheshire, Eddisbury Hillfort contains a series of seven Iron Age hillforts.
Working on the hillfort, "a rare opportunity for undergraduate students," notes Emily, they learned excavating and analytical skills, which are "indispensable for any aspiring archaeologist,” she adds. They learned to use tools such as a spade and hand-shovel, in addition to drawing plans and sections, photography, surveying, geophysics, and understanding and drawing stratigraphy and stratigraphical matrices.
"Not only do they teach you the methods that you can't just learn from a textbook, but I really started appreciating teamwork with this field school -- it is an essential element for any archaeological dig," she said.
Emily said she will likely pursue a master's degree in European prehistory. She officially declared her archaeology minor on her return to Knox with Professor Adelsberger serving as her advisor.