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Department of Anthropology

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Undergraduate Research Opportunities

The UIndy Department of Anthropology provides unique research opportunities for its students, often centering around discoveries found in field sites. For instance, Dr. Chistopher Moore is currently soliciting the help of graduate and undergraduate students to expand the research of bone tools, an opportunity sparked by the discovery of a 10,000-year-old tool found by UIndy students in northern Indiana.

Current student research projects

Analysis of protohistoric Guale Indian pottery

Archaeology 4:1 Master’s student Elizabeth Straub is currently completing her thesis investigating the relationship between two types of pottery from Sapelo Island. In the course of her fieldwork, Elizabeth discovered a pig burial dated to the late 17th century that is currently being tested for ancient DNA.

The Wildcat Archaeological Research Project (WARP)

Undergraduate 4:1 student Harrison Funke is working with Dr. Moore and Dr. Leah Courtland (Department of Physics & Earth-Space Sciences) on an interdisciplinary geophysical study of the Robinson-Baum cemetery in Delphi, Indiana. The goal of the project is to map the distribution of the 150-year-old burials in this pioneer cemetery.

Undergraduate 4:1 student Brianna Baker is just beginning research of Site 12T947, a historic farmstead located within the current boundaries of Prophetstown State Park. Brianna is currently in the process of inventorying a collection recovered by Purdue University archaeologists in the 1990s. 

Graduate 4:1 student Angela Blankenship is analyzing Native American artifacts from the Late Prehistoric Demerly site in Carroll County, Indiana. Angela is studying the Albee Phase pottery from the site and is investigating the organization of stone tool production during the Albee Phase.

Undergraduate student Nicholas Tibbs is studying vessel glass from the Baum’s Landing and Smith Dairy Farm sites in Carroll County, Indiana. Nick’s research is telling us about consumption practices in the Wabash Valley during the 19th and early 20th centuries.

The Materiality of Ghosts

Dr. Moore and Dr. Samantha Meigs (Experience Design) are developing an interdisciplinary project studying the role of ghosts and the paranormal in popular culture. Undergraduate student Mikayla Williams is contributing to this project by compiling a database of ghost hunting tools and “haunted” objects.

Funding

There are many ways to get involved in research, and some original research experiences may require funding. The Shaheen College of Arts & Sciences supports student research and scholarly activity through grant opportunities to offset costs such as research supplies and travel. 

Want to get involved?

Students wishing to obtain hands-on lab experience working with artifacts from archaeological sites can volunteer in the Material Culture Laboratory or sign up for the Research Experience class (ANTH 382) for one-half to four credits per semester. Students may join ongoing research projects or start a research project of their own.

Funding

There are many way to get involved in research, and some original research experiences may require funding. The College of Arts & Sciences supports student research and scholarly activity through grant opportunities to offset costs such as research supplies and travel. 

Conferences give your research a voice

Students are encouraged (but not required) to present their work at professional conferences and to pursue publication. Professors have taken students to multiple conferences and meetings in both anthropology and archaeology each year. 

Conferences, annual meetings and hosting organizations have included: