"I applied to this program to be able to pursue my research interests fully. This program gives me the opportunity to not only write a senior thesis but also create a poster. Additionally, through this program I will receive extra support and guidance to help me complete my research. I hope to learn how to technically write and present a formal research project, a skill which is necessary in graduate school. My goal for this year is to complete my project in a thorough yet timely manner."
I am interested in both geology and archaeology. In terms of research, I have been working with ceramic vessels from prehistoric Florida. I several years ago I started working with these artifacts by sorting them into types based upon their stylistic and tecnofunctional markings. For this project I will begin to determine the mineralogy of the clay pastes in order to determine where the vessels were made and how far they traveled before being deposited.
Academic and Other Awards
- University Scholars Program Scholarship (2011-2012)
- Lambda Alpha
- Gator Green Team
I volunteer at the Lab of Southeastern Archaeology sorting and cleaning artifacts.
Hobbies and Interests
- Surfing, painting, hiking, and biking.
Petrographic Analysis of Weeden Island Pottery to Determine Provenance of Sacred and Secular Wares
The Weeden Island tradition of A.D. 250-900 stretched from north Florida to south Georgia and Alabama and is best known for a ritual complex involving mound construction, ancestor veneration, and the caching of elaborate pottery (Milanich 1994). Archaeologists know very little about the daily lives of these people and therefore do not fully understand the connection between scared and secular belief systems. I plan to examine the appearance of this dichotomy found within the different forms of ceramic vessels of this culture. Previous research on the origin of vessels buried in mounds shows that many such vessels had nonlocal origins. In contrast, pottery found at locations away from mounds tends to be simpler in form and decoration, and made locally. In keeping with this established dichotomy between scared and secular pottery, I hypothesize that pottery from the mortuary mounds includes vessels of nonlocal origin and that vessels from nonmound contexts were made locally. Recent fieldwork at several Weeden Island sites in the vicinity of Shell Mound (8LVxx), north of Cedar Key, provide abundant Weeden Island pottery for petrographic study. Additionally, a large assemblage of pottery collected in the late 19th century is curated at the Florida Museum of Natural History. From these sources, I will examine 50 vessel sherds from two different habitation sites and 25 vessel sherds from Hog Island (8LV2/7) a mortuary site. I will create thin sections of theses samples, examine them under a petrographic microscope and analyze them for mineralogical content. I will also collect clay samples from the region in order to establish a comparative baseline for distinguishing between local and nonlocal sources of clay. By determining the origin of the vessels I will be able to better establish the existence of ritual practices involving pottery that include the participation of individuals across multiple communities.