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Student Research Award Granted for 2020

  • 7 Jul 2020 12:41 PM
    Message # 9086623

    Student Research Award

    Jordan Schaefer, a PhD student at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, has been awarded the 2020 ARARA Student Research Award. Under the mentorship of Dr. Jan Simek, Jordan is studying rock art in the American southeast for his dissertation research. Jordan will receive $2500 to purchase a DSLR camera, tripod, and equipment so that he can develop a 3D model of Indian Cave, a dark zone cave art site located in White county, Tennessee. Radiocarbon dates taken from cane torch remnants and core samples suggest an occupation range of AD 700-900, indicating that the site was used during the Late Woodland Period. At least 293 petroglyphs are currently documented in the cave, though several more are known and require formal documentation. The 3D model created by the grant award will allow for a spatial analysis of the petroglyphs to address research questions about the locational organization of the art inside the cave and their relation to Native cosmology. Jordan will use the 3D model to analyze spatial questions such as line of site, rock art orientation, and relation of motifs to each other and to water, passageways, or external light. This research will explore why certain images appear where they do and whether these distributions are related to Native religion. ARARA is encouraged that Native consultation for the interpretive research is an active part of this project.

    The ARARA Student Research Award provides up to $2500 of support for a graduate-level student. Award funds are for reimbursement of research expenses in order to publish a thesis, dissertation, or peer-reviewed academic paper as part of a student’s academic program. The ARARA Education Committee forms a review panel and oversees the awarding of these grants. Last year’s recipient, Levan Losaberidze from the Republic of Georgia is completing his fieldwork and plans to submit an article to the upcoming AIRA volume. These are ARARA’s first two years of granting these awards. The Education Committee is grateful for this support for new and exciting research by students. Thank you to the ARARA Board and all ARARA members! And, congratulations to Jordan on this year’s award!

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