Our Students' Stories


Brooke Blaszynski

My name is Brooke Blaszynski and I am a Junior in Archaeology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I attended this summer’s Field School with Dr. Ritichson on Sapelo Island in Georgia to conduct research at a native site, known as Kenan Field.  This site was occupied by a native group, the Guale, prior to Spanish contact.  Our research question that we approached during our time at Kenan Field was how immigrants adjust to life and community in the coastal environment. 

Regarding pre-contact finds, we primarily engaged with and found an abundance of shell, due to the rich coastal food resources available to the Guale, pottery, and small animal bones.  In terms of post-contact, artifacts that we would find included glass, ceramics, and nails.  At Kenan Field, we conducted systematic shovel tests, topographic mapping, and shallow geophysical survey. These all entailed preparing, filling out, and completing the proper documentation and recordation while conducting our research. 

Brooke B


Our documentation included photographs, drawings, field notes, forms, artifact bags, and more.  Recording and preserving the data and information we engaged with in our research was top priority during our field school on Sapelo Island.  I am forever grateful for the community of peers I gained on this trip as well as the hands-on experience that prepared me for my pursuing career as an Archaeologist.