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Forza Italia

Junior Lands Summer Internship at Turin Museum of Egyptology

For Emmaline Higgins, class of 2018 from Severna Park, Md., the chance to study Egyptology at one of the world's best museums just became reality. The self-designed cultural anthropology major/archaeology and East Asian studies minor has been accepted into the Turin Museum of Egyptology program in Turin, Italy, as a summer intern.

"The Museo Egizio (or Turin Museum of Egyptology) in Turin is an amazing museum that is among the most important in the world," said Higgins, who will be working with Egyptian objects and exploring museum studies from June 25 to July 30. The museum houses the Turin Papyrus Map, the Nubian Temple of Ellesiya, the New Kingdom Tomb of Ka and Merit, and the Old Kingdom Tomb of the Unknown.

"This is an incredible opportunity for me to learn about other cultures up close through the artifacts of what they left behind," Higgins said. "As a cultural anthropology major, I will also be able to learn how to interact with people of different nationalities and cultures - this is a hands-on experience that I would not be able to receive in a normal classroom."

Higgins was able to land this unique opportunity through the Institute of Field Research (IFR), an organization created to help bring archaeological field schools to students, and through the recommendation of Darlene Brooks Hedstrom, Wittenberg professor of history, department chair and the director of archaeology.

"I encourage all my students to look at the wonderful opportunities at the IFR," Brooks Hedstrom said. "Here students can search by type of fieldwork desired, region of the world and even time period. The IFR partners with excavations, museums and other projects to provide a well-supported program for students to consider. The IFR also provides scholarship funds for students based upon merit or need."

Higgins researched the field schools being offered this summer through IFR and narrowed her list to a few possibilities. She believed that the Turin Museum of Egyptology was the best fit for her academically and interest-wise.

"Emmy applied on her own, but she drew upon her experience in the Introduction to Archaeology course to give her context for her application," Brooks Hedstrom said. "Emmy shows the type of independent initiative that is really necessary in fieldwork and is an exceptionally inquisitive and thoughtful student. She exhibits the type of care you hope someone has when dealing with the remains of the dead. Emmy also has a sensitivity to cultural differences and the value of a community's beliefs, which will help make her an effective advocate for the preservation of the past."

Higgins is also one of only two Wittenberg students who received the 2017 Nancy Benco Archaeological Research Fund award to help with her expenses. Hannah McCartney, also a junior, won the 2017 Benco Award and will be traveling to Ireland to participate in the Blackfriary Community Archaeology Project.

The scholarship, created by alumna Dr. Nancy L. Benco, class of 1966 and a professional archaeologist, helps to fund history majors and minors who wish to study archaeology and the human past. The purpose of the fund is to provide financial assistance to the Wittenberg Department of History and archaeology program to promote the study and appreciation of archaeology at the university through student research, fieldwork and learning experiences for undergraduates interested in the human past around the globe. More information about the fund can be found at http://www9.wittenberg.edu/nearbyarchaeology/nancy-l-benco-research-fund

"Wittenberg helped me in this endeavor by having an archaeology program available for me," Higgins added. "I have always been interested in the past, but I had never really considered archaeology until my advisor Dr. (Nona) Moskowitz (associate professor of sociocultural and linguistic anthropology at Wittenberg) encouraged me to take Intro to Archaeology with Dr. Brooks Hedstrom for my major. This turned into a passion for archaeology and added an archaeology minor to my major."

Wittenberg helped me in this endeavor by having an archaeology program available for me. I have always been interested in the past, but I had never really considered archaeology until my advisor Dr. (Nona) Moskowitz (associate professor of sociocultural and linguistic anthropology at Wittenberg) encouraged me to take Intro to Archaeology with Dr. Brooks Hedstrom for my major. This turned into a passion for archaeology and added an archaeology minor to my major.
Emmaline Higgins '18

Jointly run by the Museo Egizio, the Costen Institute of Archaeology at UCLA, the Polytechnic University of Turin (Politecnico di Torino), and the IFR, the program will be an inaugural one for this year's participants.

"The program provides undergraduate and graduate students with the opportunity to experience all aspects of working in a museum, which includes Egyptian history and material culture, conservation and museology," Higgins said. "The students in this field school will be working with the staff of the Museo Egizio, experts from the conservation center at the Venaria Reale, and the school of architecture from the Politecnico. We are going to help with the analysis and publication of the artifacts through special research focusing on production techniques, communities of practice, apprenticeship, and craft specialization. We will be actively involved in the aspects of preservation, presentation and study, and curation of the museum artifacts."

Higgins cannot wait for her program to begin.

"I am hoping that this experience will give me the real-life experience to gain a foothold into the world of professional archaeologists, anthropologists and curators, so that I might better prepare myself for entering the workforce," she said. "If a job opportunity does come about, then I will be thrilled, but my primary focus is to learn and expand my knowledge of the world and all the people who live in it - that is what I am truly interested in. To better understand people and the cultures of where they come from is an amazing thing, and in my opinion, makes the world a better place."

Higgins will reside in northwestern Italy in the Piedmont area by the mountains that border Italy and France, located just west of Milan. The last time she visited Italy was around the age of seven, so the memories are a bit faded.

"I do know it is a beautiful place with amazing food, architecture, culture, and, of course, great people. I am just so incredibly grateful for the opportunity to work and sightsee there."

 

Cindy Holbrook
Cindy Holbrook
Senior Communications Assistant

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A nationally ranked university for the liberal arts and sciences affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Wittenberg University has repeatedly been ranked throughout the years by the Princeton Review for the quality of its teaching and faculty, including 11th in the nation for “Best Classroom Experience” and 15th in the category “Professors Get High Marks” in the 2011 edition of Princeton’s annual Best Colleges guide. Most recently, Wittenberg earned the No. 4 spot in the category of “Most Accessible Professors.” Wittenberg appeared in the Princeton Review’s Guide to Green Colleges in 2013 and again in 2015. Additionally, Wittenberg currently has more Ohio Professors of the Year than any other four-year institution in the state, and has been recognized nationally for excellence in service and athletics.

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