Island girl

UIndy senior Carolyn Lewis chose to attend UIndy because she wanted the chance to travel and to double-major in both Archeology and Anthropology, “which most colleges don’t offer,” Carolyn says.

‘I’d do it again in a heartbeat—even with all the bugs & the heat’

Dig some trivia about Sapelo Island, site of a UIndy archeology dig

  • Prior to the Civil War, Sapelo Island was owned by the Spaulding family—descendants of slaves who worked
    on the Spaulding Plantation in Georgia.
  • In the 1920s, the island was owned by automotive tycoon Howard Coffin, who sold the island to tobacco heir R. J. Reynolds.
  • The northern two-thirds of Sapelo Island is now a wildlife refuge.
  • In the late 16th century, Spanish Jesuits on the island were all killed in a revolt.
  • The current population of Hog Hammock, the only town on Sapelo Island, is 47.

Since she’s from California, it’s not as if UIndy’s close to home for Carolyn. But after visits to too many colleges, Carolyn knew this was the right fit.

“Archeology is usually just a concentration within Anthropology, but UIndy offers majors in both programs, which was exactly what I was looking for,” she says. “My experience so far has been amazing!”

Recently, Carolyn and another UIndy student, along with Professor Chris Moore, traveled to Sapelo Island, Georgia, to assist with an archeological dig.

A peek into the past

According to Moore, “We spent almost a month on the island searching for artifacts from 16th- and 17th-century Spanish missionaries who inhabited the northern end of the island nearly 400 years ago.

“We’re trying to determine how several different groups of people lived and interacted with one another on the island.”

Moore believes that Sapelo Island offers a great opportunity for UIndy students. “Undergrads working on Sapelo are involved in every component of the archeological process, from research design to excavation to site interpretation.

“It’s truly a unique resource for our students.”

“UIndy’s program is great because it’s small and personal, which means that you get a lot of one-on-one time with your professors. The department is also really great for undergrads because they allow students to get a lot of hands-on lab-work time, which gives you the skills you need to function in the archeological world. Most colleges teach theory only and don’t really show you how to do the nitty-gritty fieldwork.”

UIndy offers students lots of opportunities for fieldwork. For example, Carolyn also was able to travel to Belize to work on Mayan dig sites.

“It was a fantastic trip; I got to excavate the kind of stuff that you dream about digging up as a kid!  I’m now finishing a paper on human sexual dimorphism to take to the Academy of Science in the spring. I’m not sure I would have been able to get all of this great experience had I chosen a different college. UIndy just offers so much.”