Breaking New Ground

Ana 2_cropgm

Heading into her senior year, University of Mary Washington classics major Ana Tkabladze had already experienced four archeological digs, including in Spain, Portugal and the Republic of Georgia. But her fieldwork this summer will be hard to top, even for the most seasoned archaeologist. As an intern working with an international team of scientists, Tkabladze witnessed a groundbreaking discovery that may rewrite evolutionary history. “I was at a field school in Dmanisi, Georgia,” said Tkabladze, who has concentration in classical archeology. “It’s a paleolithic site that proves that the first humans out of Africa settled into Georgia.” The discovery of a 1.8 million-year-old hominid skull at the site made international news, including in The New York Times. When Tkabladze was on-site from July to August, researchers were analyzing the skeletal remains. “When my field school started last summer, I was aware that the fifth skull was uncovered on the site and I knew it was … [Read more...]

Uncovering the Past

Ana 2_cropgm

Growing up in the Republic of Georgia, Ana Tkabladze was surrounded by remnants and relics of the ancient world. She dreamed of someday learning about the sites and making her own discoveries. Now a junior at the University of Mary Washington, Tkabladze, a classics major with a concentration in classical archeology, is already leaving her mark. This summer, she spent three weeks on the Spanish island of Menorca and in Portugal as part of a team excavating and analyzing thousand-year-old artifacts. “I’m basically helping real archeologists find out about that era,” she said. “That’ll go in history later which is pretty exciting.” Tkabladze is one of several UMW students who received an undergraduate research grant for the summer, a time when many students study abroad, intern or work on research. In fact, two to three students in the classics, philosophy and religion department go on excavations each year, either through undergraduate research grants like Tkabladze or as … [Read more...]