The Campus Chronicle
Vol. XVII, Issue 38
for the Amherst campus of the University of Massachusetts
July 12, 2002

 Page One Grain & Chaff Obituaries Letters to the Chronicle Archives Feedback Weekly Bulletin

 Page One Grain & Chaff Obituaries Letters to the Chronicle Archives Feedback Weekly Bulletin




Archaeological Services moves
to Anthropology Department

by Sarah R. Buchholz, Chronicle staff


fter 18 years of administrative housing in the Environmental Institute (TEI), Archaeological Services (UMAS) moved July 1 to the Anthropology Department. UMAS is a consulting service that specializes in cultural resource management projects, particularly archaeological and historical background research and field testing, the examination of sites and the recovery of data from historic and prehistoric sites.

     The shift formalizes an existing relationship between the service and Anthropology, which has had hundreds of graduate students working at UMAS since its inception in 1984, according to Mitchell Mulholland, director of UMAS.

     "We basically do anthropological archaeology, and we can be better utilized by being brought into the department," he said. "We do a lot of outreach, but we also supply research experience, field experience for graduate students."

     "It makes a lot of sense intellectually, and it makes sense practically," said assistant professor of Anthropology Elizabeth Chilton, who chaired the committee that looked into the move. "The department voted unanimously to make the transfer. Mitch has hired a lot of our grad students over the years and not just hired, but provided them with training. One quarter to one third of Anthropology graduate students are archaeology students."

     Chilton, '96G, worked for Mulholland herself as a graduate student.

     "The graduate students in our department who were doing this kind of public archaeology had to work at other universities prior to 1984," Mulholland said. "The [Anthropology] Department at that time did not have the infrastructure to handle us. At that time Paul Godfrey, director of Water Resources Research Center at TEI, offered to help because they handled grants and contracts through their office."

     UMAS is funded entirely through contracts.

     "They are not severing their ties with TEI because there's a mutual benefit from collaboration," Chilton said. "The Environmental Institute is going to continue to provide a certain amount of space and assistance. They'll get some back-up bookkeeping from TEI. They have relatively small contracts but a lot of them."

     "We did $16,000 the first year," Mulholland said. "Last year we did $640,000. We've done 400 projects since we started, over $7 million."

     "We want to have some kind of steering committee to build on Archeological Services successes," Chilton said. "Important service to the community have come from these firms," she said of cultural resource management organizations like UMAS. "The only other one in New England at a university is at UConn. Boston University and Harvard used to have them, but they're gone now.

     "Mitch has been really successful at keeping this afloat. We hope this transfer can be a departure point for really building Archeological Services. There are bigger contracts out there that Mitch could get if he had the staff and support for it, more visible projects."

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