Assistant Professor Birch awarded National Science Foundation grant to develop high-precision Northern Iroquoian chronology through radiocarbon dating

Interior view of reconstructed Iroquois longhouse

Assistant Professor Jennifer Birch has been awarded an National Science Foundation grant for a project called “Establishing a High-Resolution Framework for Age Determination.” This research will, for the first time, construct a high-precision radiocarbon chronology for select Northern Iroquoian site relocation sequences in Ontario and New York State. The study aims to collect 245 new dates from 41 Iroquoian village sites.

Suzanne Pilaar Birch discusses working in the field while pregnant—and shares other women's fieldwork stories—in the internationally read Guardian newspaper

Suzanne Pilaar Birch in the field in Cypress at six months pregnant.

Assistant Professor of anthropology and geology Suzanne Pilaar Birch had a dilemma. She’d just been offered her grant-funded fieldwork opportunity in Cypress, yet her son’s birth was just three months away. Was it safe? Were their other women scientists who had worked in the field while expecting? She turned to her co-created site, Trowelblazers, that both celebrates past and present archaeologists, paleontologists, and geologists and educates future scientists and the public about their contributions. It now provides a social network, too.

Reitsema shares cemetery research findings and asks for community input regarding future work.

Laurie Reitsema (right) and a student do computer research.

Bioarchaeologist Laurie Reitsema (right) recently shared with Athens community participants the research findings made following the discovery of a local cemetery where slaves had been interred. The project began when the unmarked graves were discovered during the Baldwin Hall reservations in 2015. She shared the DNA results of those individuals whose remains could be tested among the 105 burials. Reitsema said further historical and bioarchaeological work could be done to learn about those buried, but distributed a survey measuring opinions among the listeners.