ArchaeoTek's Field and Laboratory Staff

Andre Gonciar
Director

Dr. ANDRE GONCIAR is the founder and director of the Archaeological Techniques and Research Center (ArchaeoTek – Canada). In spite of the fact that 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. He works on Prehistoric social and political evolution patterns during the Bronze and Iron Age, as well as patterns of creolization during the Roman occupation of Dacia. Theoretically, he is interested in the mechanisms and dynamics of transition, liminal spaces and times, questions of negotiated and performed identity, constructions of normative and deviant behavior, and the dynamics of power creation and implementation. 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.

Katie Zejdlik
Project Director

Dr. KATIE ZEJDLIK received her Ph.D. in physical anthropology from Indiana University, under the direction of Dr. Della Cook. She is currently teaching at Western Carolina University and 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 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.

Isabel Morris
Project Director
Jonathan D. Bethard
Project Director

Dr. JONATHAN D. BETHARD is a well published forensic and biological anthropologist, he moved to the Department of Archaeology at the University of South Florida 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.

Frankie West
Project 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. Since 2017, she has been directing the Lost Churches’ Ossuary Excavation and Commingled Remains 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 excavations 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 camp coordinator and liaison with our Romanian collegues. Since 2013, she is our project administrator, supervising the logistics of all field and laboratory projects.

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. 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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Past Staff (Recent)

Anna Osterholtz
Project Director

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.

Allysha P. Winburn
Field Director

Dr. ALLYSHA P. WINBURN is a published forensic anthropologist, and a specialist in the recovery and analysis of human remains. She is 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.

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.

Alvaro Ibarra
Field Director

Dr. ALVARO IBARRA received his Ph.D. in art history from the University of Texas at Austin in 2009 and is currently an assistant professor in the department of art history at the College of Charleston. He has twelve years experience as a field archaeologist at Greek, Roman and Etruscan sites throughout Europe, from Pompeii to Rasnov. His research revolves around the effects of foreign military interventions on native cultural expression in the Roman provinces. He is the director of the Brasov Archaeological Project, a systematic examination of the second and third-century marching camps along the Upper Olt River Valley. He is the author of several forthcoming articles on the re-examination of Roman provincial monuments located in present-day France, Scotland, and Romania. Dr. Ibarra has joined ArchaeoTek's Roman archaeology team in 2014, co-directed until 2016 our Roman military archaeology excavations 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.

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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