Student Notebooks

Blackfriary, Ireland: Sarah

July 3, 2015

Hello, I’m Sarah Brown from Chattanooga, Tennessee studying anthropology with a minor in biology at Sewanee the University of the South. I’m really interested in bio-archaeology and osteology I heard about this site through the IFR. There aren’t many programs at my university that I wanted to pursue. Many of them are really restrictive or require experience, which I didn’t have, so I Googled field schools and IFR was one of the first sites that popped up. I was attracted to the Blackfriary site because it appears to have a very holistic approach with anthropology and archaeology. I also like that it had a bio-archaeology component as well as community, structural, and historical components. I’m hoping to get a solid foundation in basic archaeology techniques. I want to be able to take what I have learned and apply it elsewhere.

I have been here two weeks and I love every aspect so far. I haven’t disliked any task, from cleaning up cuttings to helping dig test pits, it’s all been great! Everyone says that there will be something that I will end up despising but I haven’t come across anything. I’m really looking forward to learning more bio-archaeology and the bio-archaeology lectures. I love being able to observe the excavation of burials and I’m hoping to learn how to properly distinguish human bone from animal bone. The staff has a really good system from what I have seen so far. Having us learn basic techniques through cleaning the cutting was very helpful as well as splitting us up into small groups for learning purposes. I also really like the field trips we have been doing. It has been a good supplementary knowledge and provides a basic context in which we can better understand the Blackfriary site. It also makes me get out there and see Ireland where if I wasn’t with a group like this I might not get out to see some of those sites. I’m excited to see what the next weeks bring!

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