Patrick Kirch, Professor

Closed (1) Archaeology of the South Pacific: Curation and Analysis of Archaeological Collections

Closed. This professor is continuing with Fall 2017 apprentices on this project; no new apprentices needed for Spring 2018.

This project will focus on the curation and analysis of extensive archaeological materials excavated by Prof. Kirch from several prehistoric sites in the South Pacific. The sites range from the Talepakemalai Lapita site (1500 BC) in Papua New Guinea to pre-contact sites (1400-1800 AD) in the Hawaiian Islands. These collections need to be prepared for permanent curation in the P. A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology. The project will include inventorying, databasing, and specific kinds of analysis (such as lithic analysis)in preparation for transferring the collections to the Hearst Museum. Student apprentices will gain valuable experience and skills in both museum curation and archaeological analysis methods and skills.

Under Prof. Kirch's direction the undergraduate student(s) will learn the fundamentals of curating a collection of archaeological materials, including proper handling and storage of artifacts, cataloging, and databasing (including linking of artifacts with field records). There will also be opportunities for conducting specific kinds of analyses with the artifacts, such as measuring and coding lithic artifacts.

Qualifications: Declared Anthropology majors with an interest in archaeology and/or museum studies and curation are especially invited to apply. Experience with basic database programs such as Access and/or Excel is a plus, as would be experience working with museum collections of any kind. Most important is a strong desire to learn and a motivation to be part of a research team.

Weekly Hours: to be negotiated

Related website:

Closed (2) Analysis of Ancient Hawaiian House Complexes: Artifact and Sediment Sample Processing

Applications for Spring 2018 are now closed for this project.

This project seeks to advance our understanding of ancient
(pre-European contact) Hawaiian households through archaeological
analysis of the remains of several house complexes in the Nu'u area of
Maui, Hawai'i. The URAP participants will be helping to analyze
artifacts and sediment samples recovered by doctoral candidate Kirsten
Vacca from excavations that centered on an investigation of daily life
and socialization in pre-European contact Hawaiian house sites. The
research is concerned with how the intersection of gender and class
affected the manifestation of household organization and social
interaction. Comparative analysis of activity spaces within and around
Hawaiian house complexes will be conducted with the use of micro-
artifacts recovered from the excavations and with collected sediment
samples. URAPs will be trained in identifying and sorting
micro-artifacts extracted from sediment samples, and entering the
information into a database.

The undergraduate student apprentices will work in the Oceanic
Archaeology Lab identifying and sorting micro-artifacts. Specific
tasks the URAP students will be trained in include identifying and
recording the frequency of Hawaiian artifacts such as shell, coral,
and lithic debitage among others; and differentiating between these
artifacts while working with micro-remains. Applicants should be
highly detail-oriented, organized, patient, and willing to participate
in hands-on work. For Spring 2018 we are especially interested in students who may wish to work on a GIS database for the project.

Day-to-day supervisor for this project: Kirsten Vacca, Ph.D. candidate

Qualifications: We are particularly interested in students who may have some knowledge of Geographic Information Systems (GIS).

Weekly Hours: to be negotiated

Off-Campus Research Site: Archaeological Research Facility, 2251 College Building