Eckerd Professor and Students Excavate Archaeological Site in Thailand

September 26, 2013

This summer, six Eckerd students accompanied Associate Professor of Anthropology Scott Burnett, Ph.D., on a five-week archaeological trip focused on the excavating of the site of Promtin Tai in central Thailand. The site, which spans both historic and prehistoric periods, was used as a cemetery during the Iron Age. The primary goal of the project was to analyze human remains and mortuary goods from the site to reconstruct human health and behavior in the past.

Professor Burnett, along with Thanik Lertcharnrit, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Anthropology at Silpakorn University, Bangkok, and Troy Case, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Anthropology at North Carolina State University, co-directed an international team consisting of 24 undergraduate and graduate students from the U.S. and Thailand. The six Eckerd students were Michelle Baldwin ’15, Elise Barnes ’14, Ellie Finkenaur ’15, Katelyn McGlynn ’14,Jess Mullins ’14 and Meaghan Rondeau ’15. This trip was the third field season to the site since 2009.

Elise Barnes ’14, who is majoring in anthropology and minoring in biology, was one of only eleven students nationwide to receive the Jane C. Waldbaum Archaeological Field School Scholarship in the amount of $1,000 for summer research. Here, Elise shares her reflections on the trip to Thailand:

This summer, I spent five weeks in central Thailand excavating the archaeological site of Promtin Tai near the modern town of Lopburi. The field school we attended, which focused on the historical and Iron Age components of the site, was a collaborative effort with undergraduate and graduate students from Eckerd College, North Carolina State University and Silpakorn University in Bangkok. As one of six Eckerd students who accompanied Dr. Burnett on the trip, we acquired basic excavation and laboratory skills. While we weren’t able to completely excavate the few burials we found, we did find the most isolated human bone fragments of any other season. We also found some large animal remains, including a Javan rhino jaw and several crocodile teeth.

Elise Barnes ’14, who is majoring in anthropology and minoring in biology, was one of only eleven students nationwide to receive the Jane C. Waldbaum Archaeological Field School Scholarship in the amount of $1,000 for summer research. Here, Elise shares her reflections on the trip to Thailand:

This summer, I spent five weeks in central Thailand excavating the archaeological site of Promtin Tai near the modern town of Lopburi. The field school we attended, which focused on the historical and Iron Age components of the site, was a collaborative effort with undergraduate and graduate students from Eckerd College, North Carolina State University and Silpakorn University in Bangkok. As one of six Eckerd students who accompanied Dr. Burnett on the trip, we acquired basic excavation and laboratory skills. While we weren’t able to completely excavate the few burials we found, we did find the most isolated human bone fragments of any other season. We also found some large animal remains, including a Javan rhino jaw and several crocodile teeth.