Assistant Professor of Anthropology Colin Quinn was recently awarded a Franklin Research Grant from the American Philosophical Society. The grant provides summer research funding for his project “The Archaeology of Tomb Cemeteries in the Contested Mining Landscapes of Bronze Age Transylvania.”
During the Bronze Age, between 5,000 and 4,000 years ago, people buried their dead in circular, mounded tombs placed on mountain ridges. One of the best-preserved Bronze Age cemeteries, located in Râmet, Alba County, Romania, is the focus of ongoing archaeological research by Quinn and colleagues. This cemetery was situated near vital sources of copper and gold that were critical parts of Bronze Age economies.
In July, Quinn will return to Transylvania (Romania) to conduct geophysical survey and excavations at Râmet. Geophysical techniques allow archaeologists to see what is under the ground before they dig. By using these techniques at cemeteries in Transylvania, Quinn and his collaborators hope to be able to find evidence of how tombs were constructed, visited, and ultimately forgotten.
This grant will help continue work that Quinn and colleagues have been conducting in the region for eight years, including initial excavations with Hamilton students Sophia Coren ’21, Lana Dorr ’21, and Jada Langston ’20 in the summer of 2018.