Professors, students dig Archeology Day | News

The anthropology department will host an open house to celebrate National Archaeology Day to educate the public Saturday in McElhaney Hall.

The open house will feature labs, workstations and various exhibits, some of which private collectors donated. Other historic and prehistoric items come from local areas the department is currently excavating with students, like Hannastown and Squirrel Hill.

Dr. Lara Homsey-Messer, a professor in the anthropology department, and her graduate assistant, Genevieve Everett, planned and organized the attractions for this year’s open house. 

Their overall goal is to make anthropology a hands-on learning experience. 

“We’re trying to look at evaluations from the years before and make it more interactive,” Everett said.

Some of the featured materials and workstations include a bone lab, where guests can see animal and human remains; 3D printers that can create plastic replicas guests can hold and outdoor spear throwing, which is always a guest favorite.

“We want people to be able to touch the artifacts, explore them and learn through doing rather than just being told stuff,” Messer said.

Dr. Sarah Neusius is the anthropology professor responsible for starting this event in 2013. 

When Messer caught wind of what the event had to offer the community and students, she was excited to implement it as a student-learning project. 

“The students are the volunteers,” Messer said. “They set it up, they run the stations, they make the food and then Gen [Everett] supervises the whole aspect of it and its publicity.” 

Other volunteers who are not students come from various places to help out, including alumna Sussane Haney, who creates stone tools. Children will not be excluded and will have their own activities available in room G2. 

Everett is studying to become a cultural…

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