“I became interested in archaeology as an undergraduate, particularly during my first field school in Jordan. The work was strenuous but richly rewarding. I felt like I had been given a unique window in the lives of ancient peoples and an unparalleled, deeply personal level of engagement with the past.” During this time, Amanda also volunteered as a Collections Assistant at the Royal Ontario Museum where she worked with a number of artifacts and assemblages from local archaeological sites. “I was intrigued by the stories that could be told – often times using a single artifact – and encouraged by Museum professionals to continue my studies.”
Amanda’s research is concerned with the archaeology of borderlands and the ways in which material culture shapes, and is shaped by, social interaction between distinct communities. She is interested in the pottery assemblages recovered from a thirteenth century site in southwestern Ontario, where distinct cultural traditions may have come together to create new communities of practice and design repertoires.
“Hopefully, the thesis will advance our understanding of this time period in Ontario archaeology and speak more broadly to the relationship between Indigenous identities in the past and the contemporary present.”
Amanda explains that the public issues component of the program encourages her to think more reflexively and in greater depth about the practice of archaeology and the need to engage with a variety of stakeholders. “In this part of the world, collaboration with Indigenous communities is paramount and can lead to more robust reconstructions of past life ways.” She hopes to draw on this theme in her current research and continue on into a PhD in Archaeology.