Campus News

This Week in Photos: Ancient Methods

April 30, 2021

Yvonne Gay

Clay caked hands of a student working on making a bowl.
A student creates a bowl in an Archaeological Lab Methods course.
Photo credit: Yvonne Gay

A student’s clay-caked hands in an anthropology course serve as inspiration for this week’s photo series.

Students take their seats and form a wide circle in the middle of a King Hall classroom. Each person takes a lump of clay and pulls smaller pieces from it, rolling long round strips as the sticky material coats their fingers. The strips are stacked on top of each other and manipulated into a circular shape. Creating a perfect bowl isn’t the objective in this classroom lab.

A  key component in the Archaeological Lab Methods course Professor of Anthropology Amy Margaris teaches is for students to gain a better understanding of the materials and methods used by ancient civilizations. Readings in practical and theoretical problems in archaeology help guide student’s survey of basic methods used for artifact analysis, and for recording, managing, and interpreting archaeological data. The course also considers emerging trends in archaeological data sharing and collections building that are facilitated through the use of digital media. 

See more photos on Oberlin’s Flickr page.

A teacher stands in front of a classroom while students work with clay at their desks.
Professor of Anthropology Amy Margaris gives instructions to the class. Photo credit: Yvonne Gay
A girl holds a wet clay pot
A student holds a completed bowl. Photo credit: Yvonne Gay
Hands of a student hold a long piece of clay.
Long round strips of clay are used to form a bowl. Photo credit: Yvonne Gay
A student uses a wooden dowel to remove a wet bowl from a mat.
A student uses a wooden dowel to remove a wet bowl from a mat. Photo credit: Yvonne Gay
A teacher examines a bowl made by a student.
Margaris takes a side view of the layers of a bowl created by one of her students. Photo credit: Yvonne Gay



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