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NSF grant will support archaeological excavation in Turkey

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

FREDERICK, Md.—Archaeologists from Hood College and four other colleges received a more than $250,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to support excavation of an archaeological site in central Turkey.

Jennifer Ross, Ph.D., associate professor of art at Hood, will return to Çadir Höyük to continue excavation and study of the site that was occupied for more than 6,000 years, from around 5500 B.C. through the Byzantine Age. Excavations began in 1997; Ross has been a member of the team since 2003 and is now associate director of the excavations.

The prestigious three-year grant will fund the exploration of three main periods of major culture change: from what is known as the Chalcolithic Period to the Early Bronze Age —around 5500 to 300 B.C.; from the Late Bronze Age Hittite Empire to the Iron Age, until 1200 B.C.; and the late phases of the Byzantine occupation, from 600 to 1100. The excavations will focus on exploring the interrelationships of politics with social and economic systems that supported life at the site.

Hood students have accompanied Ross and have participated in the excavations nearly every summer since 2004 through support from Hood’s Summer Research Institute. This year, rising senior Cassy Ellsworth of Frederick will join Hood alumni Jeffrey Geyer and Mary Jean Hughes, permanent members of the excavation staff, at the site.