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Hannah Fitton ‘14: Analyzing Bones in the Balkans, Albania, Romania, and Greece

By Peter Tschirhart on June 12, 2012
A sociology and anthropology major from Wisconsin, Hannah has always been interested in what makes human bones unique. This past summer she attended Utica College’s Forensic Anthropology Field School led by Professor Thomas Crist. The group spent three weeks in Albania excavating and analyzing human remains from the medieval period and then traveled to the Rainer Institute in Romania for independent exploration of pathological remains. Hannah’s research focused on modern-day trepanation (drilling of the skull). The strongest message she took home from the course is that “studying human remains is more than just identifying the bones and other features– it is the study of bones in the context of what they can tell us about life today.”
Fitton, studying bones in the Balkans.

Fitton, studying bones in the Balkans.

I tell all my AMS friends that the best way to come up with a topic is to write down everything and anything they are possibility interested in. When I was trying to come up with a topic, I wrote down over 20 ideas on post-it notes and organized them on a board. Over time, I added and discarded various topics and ideas about how to go about my AMS proposal. I started writing my AMS proposal draft very early (October for a February deadline). This helped because I had lots of time to go to my AMS advisor for help, talk with my contacts with the field school, and my professors. I put as much detail as possible in this proposal which helped me be more organized when I was actually doing my project.

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