Students will participate in archaeological excavations and environmental reconstructions at a Stone Age site in Armenia that documents a variety of important milestones in human biological, cognitive, and cultural evolution. Nor Geghi 1 is situated in the Hrazdan Gorge just north of the capital Yerevan. The site documents the evolution and behavior of late Middle Pleistocene hominins between 400,000–300,000 years ago. In addition, an archaeological survey of the Hrazdan Gorge and its surroundings will be conducted. Through this program, you will gain an exciting new perspective on archaeology and prehistory and the chance to experience a rich and vibrant culture, while working side by side with world-renowned specialists and Armenian students from Yerevan State University.
Students will enroll in ANTH 3990, Fieldwork in Archaeology, for 6 honors credits during the summer term. The goals of this program are to: a) help students develop a firsthand knowledge of archaeological and geological methods and how archaeologists construct and test hypotheses; b) gain a new appreciation of science and its application in human evolution and paleoanthropology; c) provide students an intellectual and cultural experience beyond the confines of the U.S.A.; and d) challenge prior assumptions about the people and cultures of the Caucasus.
This program is designed to train students in archaeological excavation and recording techniques. Firsthand participation in all aspects of the field school, including excavation and site survey, as well as laboratory techniques such as artifact preparation, measurement, illustration, and analysis is required.
While this project will provide UConn students with an exciting, new perspective on archaeology and prehistory, and the chance to experience a rich and vibrant culture, it is also designed to help train a new generation of Armenian prehistorians. As such, Armenian students from Yerevan State University (YSU) will work side by side with our team members. Participants will live in a house in Yerevan where breakfast and dinner will be served; lunch will be eaten in the field. Yerevan is a sprawling capital with numerous museums, restaurants, and cultural attractions. Knowledge of Armenian or Russian, while helpful, is not required
This field school will be operated as a subset of a larger international research project on the prehistoric human occupation in the Hrazdan River Gorge and its surroundings*, and is co-directed by Prof. Keith Wilkinson, Winchester University, and Boris Gasparian, Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, Armenia. Other participants in this project include specialists from Oxford University (UK), University of Sheffield (UK), Royal Holloway University London (UK), Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre (UK), Yerevan State University (Armenia), Universidad de La Laguna (Spain), Simon Fraser University (Canada), and University of Wollongomng (Australia). Students will have the opportunity to interact and work with several of these specialists during the program.
Funding for the for the Field School in Armenian Prehistory is provided by the UConn Norian Armenian Programs Committee, The UConn Research Foundation, and the L.S.B. Leakey Foundation.