UIndy's graduate anthropology students have the unique opportunity of learning from more than just textbooks and labs—they are able to get actual field work experience. Sites often involve collaborative research and can be located across the country. Current sites include:
General Lew Wallace Study & Museum
In late 2011, Dr. Christopher Moore and Dr. Greg Reinhardt, along with archaeologists from a local cultural resource management firm, ran a two-day field project at the General Lew Wallace Study & Museum in Crawfordsville, Indiana.
Lew Wallace was a Civil War general, inventor and politician, but is most famous for having written the book Ben Hur. Conducted during Indiana's Archaeology Month (September), the focus of the archaeological research at Wallace's study was the location and partial excavation of Wallace's reflecting pool.
Dr. Moore is currently seeking students interested in completely surveying the study property and pursuing additional excavations directed toward learning more about the life of this important Hoosier.
Spanish Mission on Sapelo Island
Dr. Moore, along with Dr. Richard Jefferies of the University of Kentucky, has been searching for a lost Spanish mission on Sapelo Island off the coast of Georgia. The Sapelo mission was abandoned in 1684, and since that time historians, explorers and archaeologists have discussed a number of potential locations for the site.
Drs. Moore and Jefferies' work began in 2003 when a UK field school discovered mission period Spanish artifacts near the 4500 year old shell rings they were investigating. Since then, survey, excavations and geophysical work conducted north of the shell rings have provided ample support that the mission was located in this area.
Future research will involve continued survey and excavation of mission period Spanish and Native American middens and structures. Drs. Moore and Jefferies are interested in examining the nature of Spanish and Guale Indian culture change and the influence of interactions among individuals from disparate cultures on material culture. Dr. Moore often seeks the assistance of students interested in surveying and excavating other portions of Sapelo, including prehistoric archaeological sites. Other potential projects include comparative studies of late prehistoric costal Georgia and ceramic and clay sourcing studies.
During the summer of 2011, Dr. Moore began investigating the town of Xenia in Carroll County, Indiana. Largely abandoned in the 1870s, the town represents a time capsule of the pioneer through early postbellum periods in Northern Indiana.
The major aim of the Xenia research is to investigate how small towns in Northern Indiana were connected (or not) with larger communities and how these connections changed as regional populations grew and economic opportunities expanded. Dr. Moore is also concerned with understanding the conditions by which some small communities have maintained their distinct identities while many others have since disappeared.
Every other year the department hosts its own archaeology field school. This is a three-to six-week opportunity to excavate at a site that is generally within driving distance of campus. Accordingly, students have a great field opportunity without incurring major travel or lodging expenses. Previous field school locations have included Flora, Ind., Rock Run Creek (Elkhart County, Ind.) and the aforementioned Xenia, Ind. site.