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An IC class visits a neglected city poorhouse cemetery in Poughkeepsie, NY to identify and catalog graves. 


Anthropology is the study of the human species, their cultures, and their development over time. To truly explore this type of work, anthropology majors at Ithaca College participate in fieldwork prior to graduation. Two anthropology majors recently embarked on two very different cultural immersion experiences last spring.


My classmate Charles and I were on the first day of excavations and had been working for less than half a day when we made the find: a beautifully incised 1,100-year-old decorated pipe bowl. The thrill of discovery is exactly why I am an anthropology major, which combines academically based education with hands-on experience.


Histories of past cultures have always interested me, but I was drawn to Professor Jack Rossen’s Archaeological Field School at Levanna, near the shores of Cayuga Lake, because I’d get to work alongside the descendants of the Cayuga people who had lived there more than a thousand years ago.


Associate Professor Brooke Hansen is passionate about her work with the Cayuga: “The Cayuga are the indigenous people of this area, so we have an obligation as members of an educational institution to learn about and respect the land on which our college sits and the cultures which were displaced so we could be here.”


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