Does the World Need Another Anthropologist Part II...

Dara Barnett (daraone@CCNET.COM)
Fri, 2 Jun 1995 09:35:38 -0700

Hello All,

I introduced myself last July with this question. Many people responded
and gave me more reason to believe that Anthropology is still a
worthwhile field to enter, than those that derided the field. As time
has passed in my studies, I am seeing that this field is very tailorable
to ones own personal interests. Or if one is lacking in subjects of
personal interest, almost any branch of Anthropology can create new

Well, what I am facing now is starting my upper division course work for
my undergrad program at UC Santa Cruz. I have some personal interest in
alternative medical practices, thus I have felt led towards the specific
branch of Medical Anthropology. (Any Medical Anthropologist's out
there? I'd love to write to you!) Should I focus more on Physical
Anthropology courses than Cultural courses? I love both branches, but
like Physical a little more. I also have enjoyed the Archaeological
classes and projects that I have worked on*.

My brain and heart feel like dry sponges longing to be dipped in the
sea of anthropological knowledge that I will be exposed to at UCSC, but I
don't want to get too sidetracked by wanting to taste a little of all the
pots of honey!

So I guess my request in this letter is for people to sell me on their
branch of Anthropology, or to steer me away from branches that seemed
unfilling. I love reading all of the material discussed on this list,
even if some of it is a little over my head.

Sincere thanks in advance,
(I know you are all very busy),

Dara Barnett

* In my Intro Archaeology class, 6 students and myself dug two, 4x4x10
foot tombs. We covered them with plywood, dirt and pine needles, joined
the two tombs with a crawl-through tunnel. The first 'tomb' was actually
more like a cave that one had to crawl into as well. Inside the cave, we
placed large pieces of thick shale into the walls that we then painted
renditions of cave paintings from Lascaux upon. The entrance way to the
'tomb' was covered by a large stone painting. After crawling into the
tomb, the excavators were instructed that they would have to dig down 2-3
feet to find what was buried. They discovered that there was the
skeleton of a large man there. The skeleton was hand modeled out of
modeling clay and was very, very real looking. It was totally dark
inside the holes and flashlights had to be used. A very thrilling type
of project to partake in. Do many people do projects like this? Is this
considered to be Experimental Archaeology?