Queens College students survey the ancient theater at Aphrodisias, Turkey.
On a trip to Turkey this summer, anthropology professor Alexander A. Bauer provided five Queens College students with the opportunity to learn archaeological field methods while studying the archaeology and culture of Turkey. They participated in a field survey of the Sinop region in order to uncover the area’s rich history, which spans the Paleolithic to the late Ottoman/early modern period. In an introduction to the archaeology and culture of Turkey, they visited museums and important archaeological sites in several regions.
“I think the students really made the most of this rare chance to see how archaeology works ‘behind the scenes,’ says Bauer. “All the archaeologists we met with were jealous of our program—it’s so rare to have a chance to discuss each other’s research on site and get a first-hand look at what’s being discovered. To spend hours at so many different sites discussing research goals and strategies with the project directors was an amazing learning experience for all of us, including me.”
The Queens College students were part of a collaborative and interdisciplinary team of students and experts from California State Northridge, University of Washington, Princeton University, U Mass-Amherst, the University of Sheffield (UK), and Middle East Technical University (Turkey).
Says Queens College student Joanne Giarrusso, “I am majoring in history and anthropology and I wasn't sure which one would suit me best as a career choice. When I got to Turkey and spoke to some of the archaeologists I realized I would be happier as an archaeologist. The program is an excellent way for students to learn what archaeology is really about. Hearing from the archaeologists about their projects helped me understand how much hard work and tough decision making is involved. I feel I left Turkey with a better understanding about the field. I have more respect for the discipline than I did before.”