Dr. Mark Hill
Dr. Mark Hill
<b>Department: </b>Anthropology<br><b>Research Area: </b>Prehistoric archaeology of the North American midcontinent, with a particular focus on acquisition, trade, exchange and production of copper materials<br>

Department: Anthropology

Research Focus: Prehistoric archaeology of the North American midcontinent, with a particular focus on acquisition, trade, exchange and production of copper materials. Recent research has focused on mining of copper near Lake Superior, and chemical composition analysis of copper artifacts to determine their geological source.

Potential Student Project(s): Students will participate in the analysis of archaeological materials recovered during the 2018 archaeological field school near Lake Superior. The site we investigated was a copper mining site used by indigenous populations around 1,000 years ago. Materials recovered include stone tools, the debris from stone tool production and use, and a variety of copper materials in various states of production.

Students will:

  • Analyze stone tools and lithic debitage to determine tool types, manufacturing methods, and raw material types.
  • Analyze copper production debris and finished copper tools to determine production methods and elemental composition.
  • Use traditional lithic analytical methods and more advanced methods to determine the composition of trace elements in stone tools and copper materials.
  • Compile the collected data in an Excel spreadsheet.
    Prepare a draft narrative summarizing their analysis methods and results.
  • Students may also present a poster or paper at the Ball State Student Symposium detailing their work and

Attributes/skills/background sought in undergraduate:

  • Excellent research and writing skills
  • Familiarity with the use of Excel or willingness to gain proficiency
  • Familiarity with analytical methods used in archaeology, as demonstrated by successful completion of an archaeological laboratory methods course, participation in other archaeological projects, or other experience
  • Organized and detail oriented
  • Enthusiasm for expanding their analytical skills

Mentoring Plan:

  • At the beginning of the project, the student will meet with their mentor for specific training on methods used, and the organization of collected data in Excel spreadsheets
  • Student will set a weekly schedule for 5 hours of work per week, and will adhere to that schedule throughout the semester
  • Much of the work will be conducted independently, and the student will check in with their mentor, either in person or remotely, whenever they are accessing the laboratory to perform tasks associated with this project
  • Mentor will meet with the student for one hour per week, in person or remotely, to review work and to provide guidance
  • Mentor will guide the student on the preparation of the draft narrative summary paper and presentation for the Student Symposium.

Contact: 765-285-8308, CP 204G