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ArchaeoTek's Field and Laboratory Staff

Dr. ANDRE GONCIAR is the founder and director of the Archaeological Techniques and Research Center (ArchaeoTek – Canada), as well as its bioarchaeology offshoot, BioArch Canada. Although he holds graduate degrees in History (University of Ottawa, Canada), Applied Geophysics (University of Montpellier III, France) and Anthropology-Archaeology (SUNY Buffalo, USA), he is first and foremost a field archaeologist. After having investigated in one capacity or another almost all historically inhabited environments, he settled on the intensive and historically in-depth exploration of the Carpathian Region, and more specifically, Transylvania (Romania). Since 2000, he has personally directed and coordinated over 30 archaeological field schools and research workshops in that area, exploring systems of construction, expression, and performance of power and identity in dynamic and liminal environments. As such, for over 20 years, he has investigated human landscapes in Transylvania, ranging from the Neolithic to the Middle Ages. He is particularly interested in the cognitive construction of affordances and use of social-cultural-political-economic capital (in a Bourdieu sense) in transitional, heterarchical settings, as well as patterns of creolization during the Roman occupation of Dacia. He is the scientific director of ArchaeoTek’s Geophysical Programs and Roman Excavations, and co-director  of the Funerary Excavations, Osteology Workshops and Experimental Archaeology/Anthropology Workshops.

Dr. Stephen Batiuk

Dr. STEPHEN BATIUK is the co-founder of ArchaeoTek. A well-published archaeologist, with 25 years of research and teaching at the University of Toronto (Canada), Koç University (Turkey), and the Johns Hopkins University (USA), he is now re-joining ArchaeoTek full-time as co-director.   He holds his degrees from the University of Toronto (Ph.D.) and the University of Ottawa, and his areas of specialization include Near Eastern archaeology (particularly the Bronze and Iron Ages of Turkey, Iraq, Syria, and the Caucasus), with vast archaeological experience in the development of complex societies and urbanization, and Archaeological Data and Cultural Heritage Management. He has well-developed skills in Landscape Archaeology, GIS and Remote Sensing uses in Archaeology, and materials analysis, particularly of ancient ceramics. With more than 25 years of fieldwork experience he has participated in over 12 different archaeological projects from CRM work in Canada to excavation projects in Ethiopia, Turkey, Iraq, Israel, Romania, France and Georgia. He is the Director of G.R.A.P.E. - the Gadachrili Gora Regional Archaeological Project Expeditions (Republic of Georgia) where he is exploring (and establishing) the evidence for the earliest known wine, dating to 6,000 – 5800 BCE. He is also the Director of Excavations for the Tayinat Archaeological Project (Turkey), the Project Manager for the Computational Research on the Ancient Near East (Canada) Project, and Field Director at the Shamash Gate Project (Iraq). 

Dr. JONATHAN D. BETHARD is a ABFA board certified forensic anthropologist. He is currently an Assistant Professor at the Department of Anthropology at the University of South Florida, where he moved from the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology at Boston University, where he was heading their Forensics Master's program. He has received his graduate training at the University of Tennessee, including working as a field instructor at the Human Remains Recovery School. His scholarly pursuits so far have included refining methods used for constructing biological profile in forensic contexts, Andean bioarchaeology, stable isotope analysis and geometric morphometrics. On the international scene, Jonathan has worked as an instructor for numerous courses in forensic anthropology with the International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program (ICITAP) in Colombia and Algeria and has taken over since 2013, ArchaeoTek’s Osteology and Bioarchaeology laboratory programs.

Dr. KATIE ZEJDLIK-PASSALACQUA received her Ph.D. in physical anthropology from Indiana University, under the direction of Dr. Della Cook. She is currently an Assistant Professor and Director of the Forensic Anthropology Facilities (aka. "body farm", one of only six outdoor human decomposition facilities in the US) at Western Carolina University, She moved to WCU after completing her work at the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA, formerly JPAC), analyzing skeletal remains of past United States service members to aid in identification of the remains through the comparison of antemortem chest radiographs with postmortem skeletal remains  Katie has over ten years of archaeological experience working on projects all over the United States including the American Plains, American Midwest, and Hawaii. She is a Wisconsin state Qualified Burial Excavator and Qualified Burial analyst. Her research focuses on the migration and interaction of people through social and material contextual indicators as well as dental metric and discrete traits as a proxy for genetic relationships. She also has a Master’s certificate in museum studies from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and was one of the primary team members for the Wisconsin Archaeology permanent exhibit at the Milwaukee Public Museum. Katie has presented and published on a range of topics from remote sensing techniques to biological distance. She is directing, since 2015, ArchaeoTek's Funerary Excavations - Lost Churches Project.

Past Staff (Recent)

Frankie West
Project Director
Allysha P. Winburn
Field Director

Dr. FRANKIE WEST has received her PhD at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She specializes in biological anthropology with a particular focus in molecular anthropology, including forensic genetics and ancient DNA. Prior to returning to graduate school, she spent five years as a museum professional, focusing on exhibit design and curation. Her scholarly interests include non-destructive DNA analysis, soil-based DNA, and comparisons between skeletal morphology and genetics. She has taught classes on biological anthropology, archaeology, and forensic anthropology. She currently teaches at Western Carolina University and was recently awarded a National Geographic Early Career Award. She has been directing the Lost Churches’ Ossuary Excavation and Commingled Remains Laboratory/Workshop in 2017 and 2018.

Anna Osterholtz
Project Director

Dr. ALLYSHA P. WINBURN, an ABFA board certified forensic anthropologist,  is a published forensic anthropologist, and a specialist in the recovery and analysis of human remains. She was a graduate analyst at the C.A. Pound Human Identification Laboratory, where she has authored numerous forensic anthropology reports and led multiple field recoveries. Allysha is an experienced instructor, having taught both laboratory and field recovery courses to diverse groups of undergraduates, graduate students, and law enforcement personnel.  Allysha worked for over five years at the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command Central Identification Laboratory (JPAC-CIL), leading teams of military and civilian personnel on worldwide recovery missions to search for, excavate, and repatriate the remains of fallen U.S. service members.  She served as the Interim Project Manager for the "K-208 Project" a massively commingled assemblage of human skeletal remains dating to the Korean War. She also worked with the New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner in the renewed (ca. 2007) archaeological search for human remains from the World Trade Center site. Her main research interest is in estimating age-at-death from human skeletal remains, though her publications also include work on zooarchaeology, and forensic identification via radiographic comparisons.  Her current research investigates the effects of age, activity, and body mass on the degeneration of the human acetabulum. She was the field director for ArchaeoTek's 2014 Funerary Excavations - Lost Churches Project.

Dr. Anna Osterholtz received her Ph.D. in bioarchaeology from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, under the direction of Dr. Debra Martin. She has excavated and/or analyzed human skeletal remains from all over the world including the American Midwest, American Southwest, Mexico, Belize, the UAE, Cyprus, and Guam. Her ongoing research focus is on the bioarchaeology of human experience, including the effect of trade on health status of different populations, mortuary patterning in commingled and fragmentary assemblages, and the social role that violence plays within societies, with publications focusing on burial processes in the Bronze Age UAE and the role of hobbling and torture in a massacre assemblage in the American Southwest. In 2011, she was awarded the J. Hayden prize for her article entitled “Hobbling and Torture as Performative Violence: An Example from the Prehistoric Southwest.” Her first edited volume, titled "Commingled and Disarticulated Human Remains: Working Towards Improved Theory, Method, and Data" with Springer, just came out last year, and we are looking forward to her new book, Bodies and Lives in North America: Health before Columbus. She was the 2013 project assistant for both Osteology and Bioarchaeology Workshops. In 2015 she has directed the  Commingled Remains Osteology Workshop and the Trauma Osteology Workshop, and in 2016 the Deviant Mass Grave Excavation and our Pathology Osteology Laboratory Workshop.

Laure Robichon
Project Administrative Coordinator

LAURE ROBICHON is a cultural anthropologist with a lot of field experience. She joined ArchaeoTek's field crew as a student in 2010 and she has worked on almost all our sites since. After she graduated from the University of Sussex at Brighton, she took a more active role in ArchaeoTek's projects, working as a field coordinator and administrative liaison with our Romanian colleagues. Since 2013, up to the end of 2019, she was our project administrator, supervising the logistics of all field and laboratory projects.

Kirsty E. Squires
Field Director

Dr. KIRSTY E. SQUIRES is a published Sheffield University Ph.D., dedicated researcher and field archaeologist. Her main research interests include biological and forensic anthropology, childhood and gender studies, especially as it relates to Anglo-Saxon and early medieval archaeology and funerary contexts. Although an expert in the analysis of cremated remains, she has worked extensively with both buried and cremated human skeletal remains from the prehistoric and historic past throughout the UK. As a highly experienced field bioarchaeologist, she directed ArchaeoTek's 2013 Funerary Excavations at Bradesti and Lueta (Transylvania, Romania).

Jeremy C. Miller
Field Director

JEREMY C. MILLER was the Co-director of the Brașov Archaeological Projects (BAP), an interdisciplinary research cooperative studying Roman fortifications during the 1st to 3rd Centuries C.E. Mr. Miller is adept at a diverse range of landscapes and historical periods both North America and Europe. Additionally, he is experienced in remote-sensing and geospatial applications. He is a United States Armed Forces combat veteran and served as an Infantry Squad Leader in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, experiences that contribute to his current research on Roman and Dacian military operations. Mr. Miller’s research interests include Dacian and Roman landscapes, archaeology of conflict and violence, creolization and cultural-hybridity, and locally manufactured ceramics. His main concentration is within the developing field of asymmetrical warfare archaeology. Until 2016, he was co-directing ArchaeoTek’s Roman military archaeology excavation and survey.

Alexander E. Brown
Field Director

ALEXANDER E. BROWN is a Harvard graduate and a highly experienced field archaeologist. After ten years of excavating a series of Iron Age and Roman sites in Transylvania, he codirected our field excavations as co-director of ArchaeoTek's Roman Excavations, until 2018. A Classical archaeologist by trade, he has expanded his theoretical interests to applied anthropological questions, such as the perception of the other during conflict situations, landscape strategies in asymmetrical power contexts and processes of colonization-creolization in Roman Dacia, prior to 270 A.D. As such, he is co-directing the "Life by the Imperial Roads Projects", which includes the Rapoltu Mare civilian road side settlement excavation and survey and the excavation of the civilian habitat in Sarmizegetusa Ulpia Traiana, the Roman Capital of the Dacian Provinces and First City North of the Danube, excavation. From 2012 to 2017, he was ArchaeoTek's Advanced Research Field Fellow, through which he conducted 5 years of intensive field research and held a field teaching position.

Isabel Morris
Project Director

Dr. ISABEL MORRIS has been trained in both Classical Studies and Civil Engineering. As a PhD Candidate  and a founding member of the Heritage Structures program at Princeton University,  she received the prestigious NSF Graduate Research Fellowship to study the use of Ground Penetrating Radar for material identification and quantification at heritage sites.  She has conducted research in both archaeology and GPR applications in Transylvania since 2016, and has become the director of ArchaeoTek's Applied Geophysics Program in 2017 until 2021. As such, she directed both the introductory level field applications course on the Roman villa at Rapolt and the advanced GPR research workshop of Corvin Castle.  She has written successful grant proposals for incorporating GPR education into undergraduate courses at Princeton, including Archaeology and Structural Health Monitoring. In addition to her work in Romania, she has conducted field surveys on six UNESCO-protected temples in Kathmandu, Nepal, extensive monitoring GPR surveys of Streicker Bridge, and experimental GPR field work.

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