Have you ever wondered what prehistoric people actually ate? Or how they made tools and weapons from stone? UNH’s Department of Anthropology teamed up with the Anthropology Club to answer these types of questions by presenting the fourth annual Open Archaeology and Anthropology Day at the Huddleston Ballroom this past week on Saturday, April 8.
According to the UNH Department of Anthropology website, “Anthropology is a field of visionaries, makers and collaborators, taking a critical, creative and holistic approach to the study of mankind.”
“What is anthropology? Well, it’s research, research and research,” junior anthropology major and triple minor in justice studies, forensic science and writing Rachel Smithline said. “It helps you become aware of different cultures, and it’s really good for trivia nights.”
As a part of UNH’s 150th year celebrations, attendees were able to try hands-on workshops such as flint knapping; the process of making tools and weapons from stone, a mock dig; showing the process and techniques archaeologist use, prehistoric foods; like roasted crickets and smoked meats, atlatl throwing; a handheld device to launch javelins further, iron making and pottery.
A variety of exhibits taught attendees how medieval armor was made, what seeds were used in ancient agriculture, how forensic anthropology is used to solve crimes, the differences between skulls in the evolution of the human species and the progression of tools through the ages.
“Students don’t only have to hear me lecture,” professor of anthropology Marieka Brouwer Burg said. “Students can come and have a hands-on learning experience here at Open Archaeology and Anthropology Day.”
The event aimed to introduce the world of archaeology and anthropology to curious students and the public. A number of exhibits by multicultural students clubs and orgs had the opportunity to share their cultures and history.
“I think it is important to learn about other majors,” sophomore occupational therapy major Jennie Fabiano said. “I didn’t have a good understanding of what anthropology is, but after walking around [Open Archaeology and Anthropology Day], I now know.”
Taking it outside, continuing education English major and anthropology minor Doug Rodoski led walking tours of historic sites around campus and the campus archaeology excavations, which were hosted by the Anthropology Club.
“We are trying to spark the interest of young students towards anthropology and archaeology,” Rodoski said. “I want students to know that you don’t need to go overseas to discover history, you can find history right in your backyard.”
According to Brouwer Burg, with the state of current affairs, Open Archaeology and Anthropology Day would like to express the importance of cultivating awareness and acceptance of all people and their cultures, in the past, present and future.
“Once you begin to understand different people, you begin to see the differences in the world,” president of Anthropology Club and junior anthropology major Ashley Blum said.