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Rebecca Worsham

Rebecca Worsham has been awarded the Fieldwork Award from the Spatial Archaeometry Research Collaborations (SPARC) at the University of Arkansas’s Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies (CAST) and Archaeo-Imaging Lab (AIL).

In collaboration with Donald Haggis and Michael Lindbloom, Uppsla University, Worsham will map and create a 3D model of the Malthi settlement. Malthi is a Middle to Late Bronze Age archaeological site that many scholars have largely ignored in recent years.

“The site was excavated in the 1920s and 30s, but has not been meaningfully examined since then, partially as a result of problems with the interpretation and dating of the site by the original excavator,” Worsham explains. “As a result, a large body of available archaeological data, including domestic, industrial, and administrative spaces, and representing one of the fullest settlements of the period, has been dismissed from the academic dialogue, while the site itself is being destroyed by erosion and exposure.”

Worsham hopes that her SPARC funding will change the way view and use the site.

“The SPARC Fieldwork Award will be used to map and create a 3D model of the settlement architecture, which can be used for later analysis and for the preservation of the information offered by the site,” she detailed. “I hope with this work that this crucial site can be reintegrated into the discussion on the period, and particularly to highlight its importance in the creation of new types of communities at the transition to the Late Bronze Age (ca. 1600 BC) in mainland Greece.”

Through her digital imaging of the site, Worsham will trace the organization and re-organization of Malthi, uncovering how the architecture and other socio-cultural elements influenced the settlement patterns of the area.

As part of her ongoing work with Malthi, Worsham has started working with UNC’s 3D Imaging Workshop in Davis Library’s Research Hub. There, a February workshop led by UNC alumna Rachel Opitz of SPARC catalyzed the establishment of the Research Laboratories of Archaeology’s 3D Imaging Group. 3-DIG, as the group is known, is a collaboration of students form Classics, Religious Studies, Anthropology, and the School of Information and Library Science who are working on applying these digital techniques to the fields of archaeology, cultural heritage, and public engagement, according to Vincas P. Steponaitis, chair of the Curriculum in Archaeology and director of the Research Laboratories of Archaeology.

“I am grateful to have had this opportunity and excited to continue to work with and learn more about the application of these technologies as I finish my graduate work here at UNC,” Worsham said.

Funded by the National Science Foundation, SPARC offers direct support for geospatial research in archaeology. In addition to conducting workshops such as the one lead by Opitz at UNC, the organization also assists with data collection from the field, processing and analyzing such data, and publishing and archiving the results of geospatial dataset. Their website also offers online resources and webinars. For information about SPARC and to read about other award winners, visit SPARC’s website here.

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