For those of you who have spoken to me recently or are following my online posts over the last five months, you may have noticed that I was accepted to a bioarchaeological field school in Europe. Since returning to college and discovering my passion and talent for anthropology and archaeology, I have been fortunate to be under the instruction of many wonderful professors. Through their guidance, the field of bioarchaeology was opened up to me, and for almost two years I have been studying and researching in the field. It is a subject which combines the hard sciences such as biology and chemistry with biological anthropology and archaeology to more fully get a sense of how our ancestors lived. Techniques in bioarchaeology have been used to look at the lifeways of groups ranging from Neanderthals to ancient Romans and more recently to eighteenth-century European life or the horrors of genocide in the twentieth century. One day soon I hope to attend graduate school to more fully focus on bioarchaeology, and to help archaeologists, researchers, historians, and the public have a more complete understanding of our past.
The Czech-American Bioarchaeological Field School focuses their dig on a site known as Pohansko near Breclav, just north of the Austrian border. Research on this ninth-century Moravian site has yielded new information about the people living at this crossroads of different trade routes between Europe, Asia, and the Mediterranean world. Pohansko was once situated on the Amber Road, a major trade route joining the Baltic region to other important commercial avenues of the world such as the Silk Road. This close proximity to the Amber Road allowed Pohansko and Great Moravia to flourish. Great Moravia itself was a short-lived early Medieval kingdom, though it influenced later Medieval and post-Medieval culture in Slavic Europe because of its central location in regards to trade. During the excavations sponsored by The College of DuPage and Masaryk University-Brno, a church and many burial plots have been discovered, along with other markers of a once eminent society. The students and professors attending these field schools have used these structures and the surrounding human remains to learn more about the social statuses of the people who lived in Pohansko during the 9th C. AD.
My acceptance to the program sent me over the moon, but it also sent my finances whirling into a tail spin. I have been extremely fortunate to have won my university's Department of Anthropology's Antoinette C. Bigel Endowment Fund, a grant which provides some funding for students who wish to further pursue their anthropological dreams outside of the courses offered on campus. Even with this generous grant, the cost of attending this field school has pushed me to my limits. I've paid the tuition and my flight over to Europe, but my flight home and any other travel or living expenses while in Europe are up in the air. Attending a field school is necessary to gain experience and further one's education and professional prospects in the archaeological field. This is an important step in my life, and I ask you to consider making it a bit easier on my wallet so that I can devote more energy to learning and enjoying this wonderful experience. Every little bit helps, as I still need to buy things ranging from plane and train tickets to trowels, books, and bed sheets. I plan on documenting and sharing as much as I can of the field school so that you can see what life dreams you are helping me achieve. Anything and everything donated toward this project would be helpful!
To give you an idea of how every little bit helps, check out these totals:
$25 - trowel
$50 - trowel AND textbook (I shop around)
$75 - trowel, textbook, AND sleeping bag liners
$125 - trowel, textbook, liners, AND ticket to the dig site
$160 - trowel, textbook, liners, ticket, AND hostel space while I wait to get to the dig site
$300 - trowel, textbook, liners, ticket, hostel, AND transportation during my stay
$650 - .... AND flight from Austria to the UK so I can look at graduate programs
$1200 - .... AND lodging while looking at schools.
$1700 - .... AND transportation around the UK (being hopeful)
$2500 - .... AND flight home from the UK
$6000 - .... AND tuition for the field school (a portion of which is covered in my grant)
Thank you so much!