Editorial Note: Here is something from the newest archaeology professor in Kentucky. Dr. Venter recently joined Murray State and is planning some new Kentucky projects for the near future. Keep an eye on Murray to see more from Dr. Venter and her colleagues. If you have time, check out the past editions of the Journal of Kentucky Archaeology (http://campus.murraystate.edu/academic/j_ky_arch/Journal_Kentucky_Archaeology/ ) which is hosted by the folks at Murray. – Nick Laracuente
Meet the New Professor, Dr. Marcie Venter, Assistant Professor, Murray State University, Department of Geosciences
In 1997, as a new graduate student, I moved from western Pennsylvania to begin attending the University of Kentucky. This was my first foray into Kentucky Archaeology. As the Research Assistant for the Kentucky Archaeological Survey, this shy novice archaeologist was flung into a new world that was at the same time exciting and new, and incredibly intimidating—the caliber and commitment of archaeologists practicing in all corners of the state meant that the bar was set really high. No pressure!
Fast forward 19 years, 2 degrees, 5 universities in 3 states, and dozens of projects, both domestic and abroad, my return to Kentucky (Murray State) from western Pennsylvania (Penn State University) feels like I’ve come full circle. I am excited to be back, excited to offer students throughout the Commonwealth opportunities to explore Kentucky Archaeology at Murray State, and to extend their experiences into new places. Go Racers!
I owe a lot to Kentucky and Kentucky Archaeologists, and I am ever mindful of that fact, especially during Kentucky Archaeology Month. My time in Kentucky has not only offered me innumerable opportunities, but it has produced some outstanding, lifelong friendships and professional relationships.
Just a few of the highlights along the way include:
- Getting stranded in the swamps of Henderson, KY, but simultaneously experiencing a fantastic burial site while the KAS RA.
- Metal detection survey of the Battle of Richmond.
- Working with other Kentucky Archaeologists in Veracruz, Mexico.
- Investigating the early frontier history of the Ohio Valley and Bluegrass at sites such as:
- Vardeman House, Lincoln County
- Historic Constitution Square of Danville http://articles.centralkynews.com/2009-04-19/history/24852618_1_outhouse-site-archaeologists-archaeological-investigation
- Hisle Park in Fayette County