Medieval Crisis Populations

Human 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          0          3          6          8          Overall Average: 86% (4.3/5)

Evaluation participation: 94% (17/18 participants)

 

 

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          1          16        Overall Average: 99% (4.9/5)

Evaluation participation: 94% (17/18 participants)

 

 

Comments:

 

  • Knowing the ticket price would have been helpful (for the train)

  • Very helpful with the Budapest tip (flying there instead of Bucharest)

  • I thought travel to Odorheiu would be a lot harder but I was pleasantly surprised.

  • I wish I would have known I didn't need to buy a lab coat and gloves

  • Very friendly pickup and greeting. Greatly appreciate the bus transportation from Sighisoara to the hotel

  • We should have all brought copies of White.  It was difficult to rely on digital copies only, otherwise everything worked out great

  • Some of the instructions were misleading and some instructions to pack "mandatory" items that turn out to be unnecessary (gloves)

 

 

Housing

 

 

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

 

 

         Poor        1          2          3          4          5          Outstanding

Evaluation:       0          0          0          8          9          Overall Average: 90% (4.5/5)

Evaluation participation: 94% (17/18 participants)

 

 

Comments:

 

  • Surroundings were noisy at night (i.e., dogs, parking, etc) otherwise accommodations were great

  • For myself and Chris yes. Some of the women were overcrowded with 3 to a room. The roadside of the motel was very noisy

  • Would have been nice to have air conditioning but otherwise it was fantastic. We really don't need A/C but some nights it would have been awesome

  • The living accommodations were amazing. The only thing that would have been better was a shower curtain and maybe drying racks in the room

  • Better and stronger internet connection would have been very helpful. Otherwise, lodgings were quite acceptable. Reading lamps would have been nice.

  • Slightly cramped quarters with a lot of outside noise sometimes made sleep difficult. Beds and staff were good.

  • It was a lot of "togetherness" for 4 weeks. Not sure if we all needed to be in the same hotel but it was not unbearable.

  • Very nice/Good location

  • The accommodations were very adequate. There were minor problems with hotel staff and expectation of food preservation but otherwise it was wonderful

  • Fans would have been nice on very hot days. Unplugging our refrigerator from time to time was not helpful

 

 

General Logistics

 

 

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

 

 

  • No

  • Not really, however, more than one hotel key would have been nice

  • Didn't know the people weren't Romanian. Speaking Romanian to them is insulting so it was difficult.

  • Potential travel problems with flooding but am able to leave a day early

  • Food was great and cheap. Travel worked out well. Hotel had a few issues, but nothing that can really be controlled.

  • Not yet

  • No

  • No, all of the above proved easy and quite feasable

  • No, I encountered zero problems!

  • Nope, it was great

  • No

  • No

 

 

If so, did you ask the project staff for assistance? Was the project staff able to address your concerns to your satisfaction?

 

 

  • No problems. And they would have if I had any!

  • I did not ask then any questions… so not really

  • Couldn’t communicate with the hotel staff (they didn’t speak English and I don’t speak Romanian, Hungarian or German). Yes, especially with the big fridge dilemma.

  • No need. But the staff was very accessible.

  • Yes. All fixed.

  • Yes. They were very helpful.

  • Yes. And absolutely.

  • Yes. And yes.

  • Very well organized, I had no real problems at all

 

 

Lectures

 

 

Were the formal lectures presented informative and useful?

 

 

         Poor        1          2          3          4          5          Outstanding

Evaluation:       0          0          0          0          17        Overall Average: 100% (5/5)

Evaluation participation: 94% (17/18 participants)

 

 

Were the formal lectures presented interesting and engaging?

 

 

         Poor        1          2          3          4          5          Outstanding

Evaluation:       0          0          0          2          15        Overall Average: 98% (4.9/5)

Evaluation participation: 94% (17/18 participants)

 

 

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          1          1          15        Overall Average: 96% (4.8/5)

Evaluation participation: 94% (17/18 participants)

 

 

Comments:

 

  • Jon was a top lecturer and got to know the students well. He certainly knows how to present information, to test for for that info and to reinforce it.

  • Anna was a fantastic backup and helped immensely.

  • The Dropbox Files are amazing and it was like Christmas.

  • Access to all of the articles was extremely helpful and awesome.

  • More handouts about assignments or labs would be useful if things like the internet are not always readily available.

  • The articles given in Dropbox were not only useful but extremely helpful for the future.

  • The option of electronic or hard copy document would have been helpful or even just knowing where to get printouts done at our cost. (And some help communicating that to the proprietor).

  • Reading large amounts of text online can be difficult, specifically off of a computer for long periods of time, but that seems part of the digital age. Was great getting so many resources from Jon that could not have been obtained otherwise.

  • Would have preferred book of PDFS so if information had been given before departure about study materials. I would have brought White to make it easier.

  • So thankful for the articles and Dropbox

  • Thank you so much for all the articles! Presentations made me feel like I was in grad school.

  • Class was very informative and always interesting and fun.

 

 

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          1          3          13        Overall Average: 94% (4.7/5)

Evaluation participation: 94% (17/18 participants)

 

 

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          16        Overall Average: 99% (4.9/5)

Evaluation participation: 94% (17/18 participants)

 

 

Did bone quizzes help reinforce your osteological skill set?

 

 

         Poor        1          2          3          4          5          Outstanding

Evaluation:       0          0          0          0          17        Overall Average: 100% (5/5)

Evaluation participation: 94% (17/18 participants)

 

 

Comments:

 

  • Loved my experience with infants and fragments!

  • I wish I would have known in advance how big of a deal our end-of-the-workshop presentations were

  • This class expanded my knowledge extensively and I feel I have a much thorough understanding

  • I wish I would have known in advance how big of a deal our end-of-the-workshp presentations were

  • The class expanded my knowledge extensively and I feel I have a much more thorough understanding.

  • As a beginner I found it insanely helpful

  • It was intense and really helpful, great practice.

  • This was my first class/experience dealing with human osteology, and I found it to be very in depth, without being overwhelming.

  • Even though the quizzes made me want to rip my hair out and made me question my mental abilities and life, they were quite helpful. I believe they helped me a lot for any future endeavors.

  • I feel like I have learned much more about osteology in the past few weeks than I did in an entire semester at home; especially concerning fragments and juveniles.

  • Real fragmented bone has to be the best way to learn such a practical skill and will make excellent researchers and excavators.

  • Having studied under many types of educational systems, I can say this has been the best intensive course.

 

 

Research and Data Collection

 

 

Were the instructions provided by project staff in the lab clear and helpful?

 

 

         Poor        1          2          3          4          5          Outstanding

Evaluation:       0          0          0          3          14        Overall Average: 96% (4.8/5)

Evaluation participation: 94% (17/18 participants)

 

 

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

 

 

         Poor        1          2          3          4          5          Outstanding

Evaluation:       0          0          0          0          17        Overall Average: 100% (5/5)

Evaluation participation: 94% (17/18 participants)

 

 

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

 

 

         Poor        1          2          3          4          5          Outstanding

Evaluation:       0          0          0          2          15        Overall Average: 98% (4.9/5)

Evaluation participation: 94% (17/18 participants)

 

 

Comments:

 

  • Loved all the cases and having e-copies of lab manuals was very helpful

  • Very!

  • The labs were very helpful but age and sex estimation was difficult to do in one hour

  • Data collection was concurrent with the first lab, leading to teams splitting up. Perhaps labs could be done as a team.

  • I really enjoyed the active in-class labs and discussion. Do more of them!

  • It would have been cool to use scanners and the other really awesome analysis techniques but were limited and we got to analyze infant bones!!!

  • Although there were aspects of the methods we could not practice and parts of the analysis we did not have the expertise to contribute to, Anna and Jon made an effort to make use of our skills and improve them.

  • Doesn't get much better!

  • A very intensive course

  • Plenty of instructions and clarification if needed with several stations to reinforce or try new methods

 

 

Overall

 

 

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

 

 

         Poor        1          2          3          4          5          Outstanding

Evaluation:       0          0          1          0          16        Overall Average: 98% (4.9/5)

Evaluation participation: 94% (17/18 participants)

 

 

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

 

 

         Poor        1          2          3          4          5          Outstanding

Evaluation:       0          0          0          2          15        Overall Average: 98% (4.9/5)

Evaluation participation: 94% (17/18 participants)

 

 

Comments:

 

  • Loved class and learned a lot

  • Overall, this course was very challenging after 7 years of not being involved at this level.

  • Superior to a lot of university courses I would think.

  • With emphasis of hands on experience and REAL archaeologcial bone to work with

  • It pushed the boundaries of my experience and with excavation component, should produce a band of people well versed in recognition and excavation of skeletal material. This applies especially to children.

  • It is very important that enlarged quarters for the course are provide as computer space with bones does not work.

  • White (the text) is a requirement for EVERY student. I found mine being borrowed all the time.

  • Answered osteo questions and questions about grad school. It was very helpful and informative.

  • This workshop was awesome and heartbreaking at the same time. I will definitely recommend this to other students interested in osteo and bioarch.

  • I was glad we got the rare opportunity to work with infants and juveniles.

  • Could not ask for a more helpful staff

  • Definitely was exhausted by the end of the day which meant I was appropriately challenged!

  • Very lucky with the project staff. Probably could not have gotten the same level of training without them

 

 

Last thoughts

 

 

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

 

 

  • The chance to work with this unique collection and with such amazing professors

  • I was pleased to see the amount of faith and responsibility we were given when dealing with this  project. Our research was executed in two ways: one, we were given an incredible amount of data and trusted to provide accurate results and two, there were different levels of experience, however, the instructors had the most confidence in us and allowed us to work without being 'babysat'

  • FIRST:  the knowledge that I did improve and perhaps I won't disgrace my mentor in public :) SECOND: the chats with Jon and Anna regarding life in the bioarchaeological fast lane. Sort of a combination of '6 degrees of separation' and 'it's a small world'

  • Being able to work with infant bones was amazing!

  • The practical experience of handling and identifying fragments. Resources for further study/articles to read provided during lectures

  • I found the actual pace of the program very rewarding. The intensive atmosphere makes me feel more comfortable to to to a classroom and study this for 15 weeks

  • The experience with infant bones was insanely educational. Jon and Anna were also very helpful in giving advice.

  • They are both amazing teachers and very informative.

  • Being able to work with the infant skeletons was amazing.

  • We were also very fortunate to have our weekend trips coordinated by Andre which took a lot of the stress off of me

  • It was wonderful being able to pick Jon and Anna's brains for grad school/job advice

  • I really think that being able to touch and examine skeletal remains and to be able to know what I was touching was one of the most rewarding about my experience.

  • It was also nice to finally understand things after the first two weeks.

  • The hands-on experience and the opportunity to analyze infant bones was probably the most rewarding parts of my experience

  • Relearning osteology in a practical, real way

  • Getting to work with Anna and Jon. They provided so much information about the remains we were working on and about grad school. Getting to work with infant remains was also amazing as it was so rare

  • I learned so much about osteology and about traveling and stuff. It was very educating in more ways than one!

  • Analysis of the bones, very much enjoyed seeing the lab side of bioarchaeology

  • Intense exposure to more aspects of the field and the ability to do some limited research

  • Working with remains to collect data and learn about recording observations and information

 

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

 

  • A little more warning about things like travel itineraries and need for professional attire - make uniform pre-requisites        

  • Make the annotated bib due a little bit long before the presentation - everyone procrastinated on the annotated bib so we didn't have a lot of time for our presentations :(

  • Longer sessions, with all terminology needed for the class an extra week or two would have been ideal

  • If the osteology program ran longer. It would be awesome to work with more remains and get more in-depth withour analyses. For weeks just doesn’t feel like enough time!

  • It would have been nice to have more time for presentations.

  • Well my Romanian phrase booek was pretty useless…it would have been nice to know BEFOREhand that they speak Hungarian.

  • Don’t tell us we need to purchase gloves and lab coats when we actually don't use them

  • More instruction on osteometrics please!

  • Give students a suggested book list to bring, even though PDFs are provided.

  • It would have been nice to have more explanation on the work and course before we came. I really didn't know what to expect. Also I feel the money spent on gloves and a lab coat was unnecessary

  • Maybe a week longer, this final week has been super busy. But I guess most final weeks are no matter how long the course is….so yeah, you guys are doing great

  • Even though materials were provided electronically, many of us wanted books. There was a constant question "who has the ___book?" computers are okay, but take up more space and require power. Anna said also that bone dust kills laptops

  • More communication beforehand would be nice, more explanation of what each workshop entails

 

Other comments:

 

  • The instructor (Jon) was extremely helpful in every way, shape, and form. Both Jon and Anna went out of their way to provide us with the most knowledge and make sure we had an accurate understanding of the material.

  • They (the staff) spent some (most) of their free time conversing with us about future plans and options. I could not have hoped for a more sincere and caring instructor like Jon. In cannot thank him enough for his consideration and help.

  • Get everyone to bring hard copies of AT LEAST White and Folkens. Makes life way easier!

  • Give yourself a pat on the back, good job!

  • The honesty with which Anna and Jon approached the students and the questions is refreshing.

  • I have never been put in a situation that teaches so openly, talk about the application process to grad school, as well as the ins and outs of choosing a school.

  • I can't tell you how nice it is for a professor to be excited to talk about grad schools.

  • Wonderful experience, wonderful teachers, and I will suggest this program to anyone and everyone who is looking for experience. Thank you!!

  • Jon and Anna are amazing. Not only did they answer any and all osteology related questions and give interesting lectures but Jon was also a great source of information when it came to advice about graduate school, job opportunities in the field of bioarchaeology and advice on research opportunities.

  • Under their guidance I feel like I've gained a wealth of knowledge about bioarchaeology and human osteology as well as a lot of clarity regarding what my options are for a career in the field and how to be successful in grad school.

  • Jon and Anna were amazing and were the best teachers/mentors any of us could have hoped for with this project

 

Would you recommend this project/workshop to your peers?

 

Yes: 100% (16 participants)

No: 0% (0 participants)

Evaluation participation: 89% (16/18 participants)



Comments:

  • Only if they had previously taken osteology

  • Yes, such a unique opportunity. Had a great experience

  • Yes! I wish I could stay longer

  • Not many of my 'peers' would be interested. I shall certainly be contacting UNE to let them know about it.

  • Anyone interested in osteology for sure

  • I would definitely recommend this workshop, it has been an amazing experience and has helped me to know only learn a lot about bioarchaeology but also about my own future plans

  • Yes, absolutely

  • Absolutely, this was an amazing learning experience

  • yes, especially if it is run by the current instructors

  • Definitely yes! I'm very happy I chose this workshop and have no problem recommending it to other students

  • Yes, I am already trying to get myself back here next year

  • By far, one of the best hands on experiences I've ever had. I would easily recommend this workshop to anyone who had the slightest interest in osteology

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!!!

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