What a busy month is has been here in our lab! We are happy to announce that we have two new Federal Work-Study students, Kathryn and Maddy, working with us. We also welcome Jennifer, a graduate student in Museum Studies at The George Washington University, who is working on a directed research project on the HP Thomas Site. We are also glad to have Maggie Mariani, who has been working as a Research Assistant Contractor in the lab for the past several months.
Together with Meghan, our Collections Specialist; Jennifer, Kathryn, and Maddy are helping to input data on objects from the HP Thomas site into our museum database, EMu. The HP Thomas Site (39ST12) is a Native American site that was excavated by Richard P. Wheeler as a part of the River Basin Survey during the late 1950’s. The site is located in Stanley County, South Dakota, near the Lake Oahe region, and its artifacts date from ca. 950 to 1850 A.D., which includes the Initial Middle Missouri, Extended Coalescent, and Post-Contact Coalescent time periods. For more on the River Basin Survey, see the NAA Finding Guide, and this article.
Kathryn got her first taste of collections work by helping Meghan move the Sanborne Collection, which consists of aboriginal Caribbean artifacts from the island of Hispaniola; and another collection of Toluca Valley ceramics, including Aztec, Incan, and Teotihuacan ceramics, to new storage locations. Below you'll find a few photos of some of the wonderful artifacts we moved:
Both Madeline and Kathryn have already been a big help with cataloguing the lab's books into Zotero, which is an open-source, free bibliographic citation database that we use for our research. Meanwhile, Maggie, who has been doing research to support the NSF grant, has been busy researching collapse and natural disasters. It's a hurricane of activity here!
More is on the way soon, but in the meantime, have you seen the Smithsonian's new Seriously Amazing quiz website? Test your SI-Q by guessing at some of the intriguing questions posted there, and then find out the answers! Try starting here: "Excuse me, but why is there a body in the basement?" or discover, "Which Smithsonian museum also served as a bachelor pad for rowdy young scientists?" Enjoy! Let us know if there are any questions we can answer for you!
--Meghan Mulkerin, Collections Specialist Contractor.