Kendall Mapstone: Bioarcheology Research Internship in Italy

This summer I participated in an archaeological excavation in Southern Italy with the help of my Tulane NTC grant. The Romito Cave in Papasidero, Calabria, is known for giving archeologists a glimpse into daily prehistoric life and was the location of one of the oldest finds of human remains with dwarfism.

On the dig, I assisted a team from the University of Florence in digging, documenting, washing, sieving, and sorting through materials excavated from the Romito Cave. Based on the significant materials that we found, researchers now believe that this area might have been religiously significant and used for animal sacrifices 14,000 years ago.

After the dig, I spent two weeks traveling around Southern Italy to learn more about the area. I practiced my Italian, tried local foods, and visited important historical sites like Pompeii and Paestum.

I’m extremely grateful to Tulane for funding my trip and Dr. Emmerson’s course on Ancient Pompeii for sparking my interest in archeology. Despite being a psychology major, Tulane’s flexibility in course selection and funding opportunities has helped me develop interests in other fields and actualize goals that initially seemed impossible.

Written by Kendall Mapstone, Dean’s Grant recipient, 2018