On May 10, 2014, five College of Charleston students will become the first graduates in South Carolina to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Archaeology. They plan to be museum curators, tour company owners, and to use their geoarchaeological knowledge to travel the world working on excavation sites.
“When I was younger, I would pretend to be Indiana Jones in my backyard,” Jessica Coleman says. “The archaeology major brought back the kid in me that was always looking for adventure and long lost treasures. At the College, I spent practically all of my time in the geology department to understand what affected various sites around the world.”
In the fall, Coleman will begin the Masters Program of Environmental Archaeology at University of Umeå in Sweden. She is one of the program’s first five graduates, along with James Boast, Corey Heyward, Steven Paschal, and Caroline Weber.
RELATED: Four real-life lessons learned through archaeology.
“My favorite part about the major was being able to take classes from a wide range of departments to fulfill the requirements,” says Steven Paschal. “I feel that the major, although it is more of a ‘hard’ science, really fits into the liberal arts nature of the College of Charleston.”
The archaeology program includes professors and courses from four different schools within the College of Charleston. Plus, students are required to do either an internship or participate in a field school – a hands-on experience that all the graduates enjoyed.
RELATED: Watch a video of the Archaeological Field School at Dixie Plantation.
“Our regional laboratory for archaeology is second to none,” says professor Jim Newhard, program director. “Evidence for major prehistoric and historic events of our continent are easily found within driving distance of campus. We, however, go further. Our students and faculty are engaged in archaeological research the world over, and we have a growing reputation for archaeological informatics. These assets – lowcountry, global reach, informatics – provide a wide variety of opportunities for students and faculty alike.”
RELATED: Read the College’s archaeology blog.
The College of Charleston has offered a minor in archaeology for many years and since the archaeology major was approved in fall 2013, it has exceeded expectations, growing to more than 35 students.
“I wanted to major in archaeology because I wanted a degree that would give me hands-on knowledge as well as the theories behind studying the past. I wanted to prepare myself for a career that would allow me to more interactive and interdisciplinary,” says Corey Heyward. “In the fall, I will be attending George Washington University to earn a Masters in Anthropology with a concentration in museum studies.”