Medieval Crisis Populations:

Bioarchaeology and Osteology Research Workshop

2013 Evaluation

Pre-Arrival

 

Did the project staff provide you with enough information beforehand to organize your packing and travel for the project?

 

         Poor        1          2          3          4          5          Outstanding

Evaluation:       0          1          3          11        5          Overall Average: 80% (4/5)

Evaluation participation: 95% (20/21 participants)

 

Comments:

 

  • Lab coats unnecessary, should include nice outfit on packing list for presentation day

  • It would have been nice to know we didn’t really need gloves or the lab coat though.

  • Andre’s suggestion to arrive in Budapest and take the EuroNight train to Sighisoara was both enjoyable and relatively smooth.

  • I felt that the packing list format was unorganized, it left out quite a few important things and included others that were unnecessary.

  • Didn’t quite understand the living arrangements and the location.

  • I would have preferred that we weren’t asked to buy lab coats and gloves, as this adds 30 to 50 dollars to the overall cost of the workshop and takes up space in luggage.

  • I spent a lot of money on a lab coat and gloves for the classroom and then was told I did not need them when I arrived.

  • The travel guide you sent me was very thorough and covered everything I needed to know.

  • Some items were not necessary.

 

ArcheoTek’s Comments: We apologize for the lab coat/gloves situation. They were meant to be mandatory since we were working with fragmented bones and we were/are considering isotope and DNA analysis in the future. However, we didn’t anticipate a drought accompanied by a heat wave generating temperatures up to 45 degrees C (113 degrees F) at street level. Since there was no air conditioning available, for everyone’s comfort, we decided not to use the coats and gloves.

 

Was the pickup arrangement made prior to the project adequately seen to by the project staff?

 

         Poor        1          2          3          4          5          Outstanding

Evaluation:       0          0          0          9          11        Overall Average: 91% (4.6/5)

Evaluation participation: 95% (20/21 participants)

 

Comments:

 

  • I felt that this worked out quite smoothly

  • It was a huge help meeting together in Sighisoara, getting to Odorhei individually would have been difficult.

  • I think that more effort could have been made to accommodate people who were arriving at odd times. Two of the people who arrived via train had to wait to be picked up for over five hours.

 

ArchaeoTek’s Comments: We fully understand the difficulty to get to a specific place, in a different country, at a specific time. That is why we sent out to everyone a Travel Guide about four months in advance, containing all the pick up times and pick up locations. We hoped that having that information several months in advance would allow participants to organize themselves accordingly. Since each team had up to 20 participants, we sincerely apologize for not being able to organize ourselves to suit individual travel arrangements. However, we will address the situation in the future.

 

General Logistics

 

Were the living accommodations by the project adequate for your needs?

 

         Poor        1          2          3          4          5          Outstanding

Evaluation:       0          0          1          8          12        Overall Average: 92% (4.6/5)

Evaluation participation: 90% (19/21 participants)

 

Comments:

 

  • Better than expected. Having the use of a full kitchen was great, and being only two to a room was nice as well.

  • Hotel Tranzit was very cozy and comfortable and in a great location. The laundry machine was fine up until the very last week. Though I felt that the kitchen was too small and cramped for regular use, I enjoyed the excuse to sample all the local restaurants (especially without having to worry about spending a fortune!)

  • My only complaint is that my belongings seem to vanish… to date, I have had a hat, a t-shirt and head phones go missing.

  • Love Hotel Transit!

  • Better than expected – felt safe, clean and convenient.

  • More than one key per room would have been nice

  • If we are required to do research of any kind, we need a fast internet connection that works in the rooms since they do not want us in the common room.

 

Did you encounter any problems with the accommodations, food, or travel?

 

Yes: 5% (1 participant)

No: 95% (18 participants)

Evaluation participation: 90% (19/21 participants)

 

Comments:

 

  • The only issues with travel were not associated with the program.

 

 

Lectures

 

Were the formal lectures presented informative and useful?

 

         Poor        1          2          3          4          5          Outstanding

Evaluation:       0          0          0          2          17        Overall Average: 98% (4.9/5)

Evaluation participation: 90% (19/21participants)

 

Comments:

 

  • I really enjoyed the lectures! However, I do wish that the first history lecture (Andre’s) had been delayed a week or so because I was highly jet lagged and had trouble staying awake

  • Very useful. Many of us had not previously had any basic osteology or anatomy. We had good foundation/review in the beginning to build from. The bone quizzes were an excellent gauge to see where I was and how my knowledge of osteology would apply in the field.

  • Yes. Everything was explained really well and despite have next to nothing osteology experience prior to this program, I was able to follow everything said and now I feel like I have a solid foundation to continue my education in the field.

 

Were the formal lectures presented interesting and engaging?

 

         Poor        1          2          3          4          5          Outstanding

Evaluation:       0          0          0          1          18        Overall Average: 100% (4.9/5)

Evaluation participation: 90% (19/21participants)

 

Comments:

 

  • Jon is a fantastic lecturer. I learned just as much if not more than I would learn in a summer course and I thoroughly enjoyed both Jon and Anna’s lectures

  • Jon is hilarious and makes the material very enjoyable. I enjoyed his personal insights to the material.

  • Really enjoyed Jon and Anna’s accounts of their own personal research. It  was insightful and engaging.

  • Jon is a really great lecturer. He is very engaging and breaks up the heavier content with stories and jokes which really helped to keep me listening. I would happily take any course taught by him.

 

Did you find the supplementary materials (i.e., handouts, readings, Dropbox files) informative and useful?

 

         Poor        1          2          3          4          5          Outstanding

Evaluation:       0          0          0          2          16        Overall Average: 98% (4.9/5)

Evaluation participation: 86% (18/21 participants)

 

Comments:

 

  • Dropbox is a good idea, but mine filled up. Many of us would have preferred books and paper to the electronic resources

  • Jon was extremely generous with articles and resources for our use during this program and beyond

  • Excellent tools. Very glad for the Dropbox resources

  • I was really rateful for the library resource Jon uploaded as wel as the provision of the lecture notes, etc.

  • I really enjoyed the use of the Dropbox program

  • I loved that we received so much information and resources!!!

 

 

Osteology Laboratory

 

Were the instructions provided by project staff in the museum/laboratory clear and helpful?

 

         Poor        1          2          3          4          5          Outstanding

Evaluation:       0          0          0          6          13        Overall Average: 94% (4.7/5)

Evaluation participation: 90% (19/21participants)

 

Comments:

 

  • The method of data recording needed to be more stringently uniform.

  • The staff was great. No complaints.

  • The only thing was a lack of standardization in the notes/narrative of the recording form

  • Jon and Anna are always more than willing to go out of their way to help and answer any questions we have.

 

Did the project staff offer you a thorough understanding of osteological terminology and fragment identification.

 

         Poor        1          2          3          4          5          Outstanding

Evaluation:       0          0          0          1          18        Overall Average: 100% (4.9/5)

Evaluation participation: 90% (19/21participants)

 

Comments:

 

  • Both Jon and Anna were fantastic

  • Anna is the best!

 

Did bone quizzes help reinforce your osteological skill set?

 

         Poor        1          2          3          4          5          Outstanding

Evaluation:       0          0          0          3          16        Overall Average: 97% (4.8/5)

Evaluation participation: 94% (17/18 participants)

 

Comments:

 

  • I feel that had they been a few days apart instead of back to back, it would have been more beneficial for my own study

  • Yes, and they were fun!

  • Despite not loving quizzes, I feel they really did help me memorize content

  • The only reason I disagree with the bone quizzes is because in the research portion and in life we should have books as well as reference bones to make sure we are correct in identifying something.

  • I like being challenged by bone quizzes and having to identify tiny fragmentary pieces. It’s a very useful technique.

  • It was a great review for me, as a person who had taken osteology before and seemed to be paced well for those who had not taken previously osteo class.

 

 

Research and Data Collection

 

Do you feel you gained an understanding of the methods employed by bioarchaeologists? (i.e, skeletal inventories, sex/age, taphonomy, pathology, etc)

 

         Poor        1          2          3          4          5          Outstanding

Evaluation:       0          0          1          6          12        Overall Average: 92% (4.6/5)

Evaluation participation: 90% (19/21 participants)

 

Comments:

 

  • I think we needed to rotate through what Anna was doing – just shadow her for a day, to get a better feel for path and taph.

  • Wished I had more practice with identifying pathology/taphonomy in the bones so I knew what to look for when filing out the inventory.

  • I feel a little dismal about job prospects but I am glad for the realistic upfront approach to bio-archeology.

 

Did you feel actively engaged in all aspects of analysis in the lab?

 

         Poor        1          2          3          4          5          Outstanding

Evaluation:       0          0          0          6          12        Overall Average: 93% (4.7/5)

Evaluation participation: 89% (18/21participants)

 

Comments:

 

  • See above

  • It was very hands on every aspect

  • I wish we all had the chance to work with the scanner.

 

 

Excavation Module:

 

Did two weeks excavating in the field enhance your experience in the Bioarchaeology Workshop?

 

         Poor        1          2          3          4          5          Outstanding

Evaluation:       0          0          1          3          14        Overall Average: 94% (4.7/5)

Evaluation participation: 89% (18/21 participants)

 

Comments:

 

  • There were too many people and not enough time to do a bit of everything (2 weeks…). I never had a chance to map a burial, something I really wanted to do. I don’t mind the grunt work, but I was hoping for a broader experience on my first excavation.

  • I wish we could have worked in the field for a longer period of time.

  • Knowing the excavation side of biological anthropology is extremely important for a complete understanding of the field

  • I wish we had a bit more time in the field, like maybe once a week for the rest of the workshop. I really enjoyed it.

  • I want to do it again!

  • Kirsty was an excellent field director

  • I wasn’t in the field but I heard from others that is was a valuable experience.

 

Would you participate in an excavation in the future?

 

Yes: 95% (18/21 participants)

No: 5% (1/21 participants)

Evaluation participation: 90% (19/21 participants)

 

Comments:

 

  • Would you care to offer a small discount for returning students? We would be less work and trouble for the ArchaeoTek staff and act as RA’s at the hostels;

  • I loved the excavation part.

 

 

Overall

 

Did you feel overall intellectually engaged and challenged with your work?

 

         Poor        1          2          3          4          5          Outstanding

Evaluation:       0          0          0          3          16        Overall Average: 97% (4.8/5)

Evaluation participation: 90% (19/21 participants)

 

Comments:

 

  • Very much!

  • All the time

 

Was the project staff able to adequately answer all of your questions?

 

         Poor        1          2          3          4          5          Outstanding

Evaluation:       0          0          0          5          14        Overall Average: 95% (4.7/5)

Evaluation participation: 90% (19/21 participants)

 

Comments:

 

  • Andre, Zsolt, Csaba or anyone who speaks the local language(s) need to be around more (on call?) to help translate in the lab/presentation research and interactions at the hotel

  • Jon and Anna were like never ending fountains of knowledge.

  • I felt sometimes the disagreement between staff was interesting to see how even people who are so very trained can disagree and see different things.

 

 

Last thoughts

 

Please provide us with your thoughts on what you found most rewarding about your bioarchaeological experience on the project.

 

  • Jon & Anna’s breadth of knowledge on the people and behind-the-scenes anthropology world.

  • I found this experience very eye opening. It has given me resources that I would not have had otherwise and has provided me with great information in regards to graduate school.

  • I had never had an anthropological or an osteological class before coming here. The entire six weeks have been a learning experience, But I most definitely enjoyed the osteology portion the most.

  • As a new student to osteology, I found the whole workshop rewarding, as it was my first time getting to work with bones

  • I now know for sure that I want to be a biological anthropologist.

  • I found that the field component was an exciting experience and a necessity for understanding the archaeological context of the project, but I think the osteological labwork was most rewarding, particularly having the opportunity to work with fetal and perinatal remains.

  • The quality of instruction was exceptionally high. I felt that I learned new skills and consolidated my previous knowledge everyday through lectures, lab practice, and readings. The instructors also provided very valuable professional and academic advice. The workload was demanding but not unreasonable, and I enjoyed having the weekends free to travel. I would definitely recommend this workshop to others.

  • I feel like I have gained a much better understanding of bioarchaeology and practical experience that will help me in my decisions about graduate school. I also felt like I have learned more practical skills for conducting research that I have in all my classes. Jon and Anna were both incredible, and they were both very willing to help me learn even outside the lab and field.

  • I think that the perspective that was given from Jon and Ana about the field, what to expect, how to approach it from different view was extremely useful. I think both of them gave a realistic view and approach that is necessary and I am glad they didn’t sugar coat things.

  • The instructors were awesome!

  • I think the most helpful and rewarding part was the support and insight with regards to life as a professional bioarchaeologist, as well as being given the ability to work with and record skeletons as professionals do.

  • The most rewarding aspect of the workshop by far has been Jon and anna’s guidance and mentorship. Understanding their personal and professional experience with bioarchaeology was hugely insightful and worth the trip.

  • I found the whole program extremely useful and eye opening and I appreciate all the advice I’ve been given on how to go about doctoral applications.

  • The most rewarding experiences for me were the “real-talk” moments with the instructors, where my pears and I got insider advice on how/how not to be successful in the field of bioarchaeology, what is expected and tips to improve. The instructors were very personable and really helped me realize what field I want to pursue. Also, the workshop was timed very well. I was very happy with the amount of time I spent in the field and in the lab, the amount of work assigned and the length/complexities of lectures

  • The opportunity to work with bioarchaeological skeletons and being treated with the respect of a colleague while still having the benefits of being a student

  • I enjoyed that we got to actually dig and actually do a write up on the remains we were working on.

  • The analysis of actual bodies was most informative and I think I can really use the knowledge in the future.

 

Please provide us with your thoughts on how the project might be improved as a field student experience

 

  • A slightly smaller crowd would be helpful. There were too many people competing for Jon and Anna’s attention in the lab and for space (physical/electrical/internet) at the hostel.

  • The only thing I would suggest is to extend the time spent in the field.

  • I would have liked more than two and a half days to focus on the final research project.

  • It’s perfectly fine as is

  • More history about the sites we worked on

  • It would be most rewarding to be able to analyze the remains excavated in the field. However, I realize that this is not realistic due to the longevity of these projects. Otherwise, I wouldn’t change anything and feel fortunate to have had such a rich and varied experience.

  • Some data recording procedures could be made clearer from the outset

  • I think the project would be better with fewer people. The lab was very loud.

  • I think that communication before the project could be organized better. I felt a lot of information could have been organized and relayed in a more efficient manner. For exemple, we were not given any information about where we would be staying nor that the only language spoken in the area was Hungarian, both items that would have been good to prepare for. Aside from that, the entire experience has been wonderful and I would repeat it again.

  • None!!!

  • I would have liked a chance to work with the scanners or with the pathology more extensively

  • Perhaps having more context with the sites that we were working with. For exemple, it would have made more sense to visit Telekfalva before we started the lab analysis.

  • I am happy with how the weekend trips were organized. Maybe for the future they should be maintained?

  • Fewer people per project would always create a better learning environment.

  • More involvement with Andre would have been awesome, but other than that the project was great!

 

Would you recommend this project/workshop to your peers?

 

Yes: 100% (17/21 participants)

No: 0% (0/21 participants)

Evaluation participation: 81% (17/21 participants)

 

Comments:

 

  • I heard about ArchaeoTek from a peer at school and would continue to recommend it!

  • I think that if you are interested in bio-archaeology and osteology, this is a very good experience that gives a general overview.

  • My recommendation would be based only on the lab component, because that’s all I am familiar with.

  • I would certainly recommend anything run by ArchaeoTek, or taught by Jon.

WHAT'S UP?
LAST EVENT

NEW PROJECTS

 

  • The outstanding success of our 2018 and 2019 GPR projects, the Applied Field Geophysics Workshop - GPR Applications, prompted us to buy a second GPR unit with a different central frequency and a different configuration. As a result, our participants will have the unique opportunity to get fully proficient on a 250MHz GPR system, in a cart configuration, as well as 500MHz system, in a rough terrain configuration.

  • Furthermore, participants who are committed to expand their field skill set can register to our new Geophysics Exploration and Field Excavation program. It is a 4 week program, combining the GPR Applications Workshop (5 days) and  Roman Villa Excavation (3 weeks). Participants save $200 over the combined costs of the individual programs.

2020

New for our 2020 season: our Applied Field Geophysics Workshop-GPR Applications will allow the comparative professional training on the core GPR systems and configurations used in near surface investigations: 250MHz and 500MHz transducers, in respectively cart and rough terrain configurations. Our program is open to all disciplines, focusing on GPR theory, methods, techniques and applications.

 

As a result of overwhelming positive response and further request from our participants, we are offering the possibility to combine all sessions of our the GPR Applications Workshop with both field sessions of our Roman Villa Excavation as a stand alone program, allowing to save $200 on the combined fees. Our two research/training case study sites have been carefully chosen to combine increasing complexity of ancient, historical and modern features. These sites provide an unparalleled access to a diverse set of features and conditions.  We address urban and proto-urban settlement construction, complex anthropogenic stratigraphic relationships, variation in soil structure and conditions, wide range of materials and their use/reuse, unmapped ancient and modern utilities, potential graves, modern and ancient civil works projects (including the remains of roads, aqueducts, and wells), changes in hydrogeological environment caused by modern human intervention, and all as-yet undiscovered features. The highest quality for the best price on any GPR courses available anywhere!!!

CONTACT US
  • Facebook App Icon

© 2001/2011 - 2021 ArchaeoTek - Canada