Student Successes

Sherry Link

M.A. in Applied Anthropology

What degree are you working toward?

I am pursuing a M.A. in Applied Anthropology from the IU School of Liberal Arts.

Why did you choose graduate school at IUPUI?

The welcoming environment at IUPUI and within the department made it the place for me. I felt that I was set-up for success with a faculty and staff that offered so much support and encouragement.

What has been your favorite academic accomplishment since you’ve been here?

I was afforded the opportunity to complete an archaeological field school over the summer of 2015 with some of the best students from IUPUI and other universities around the country.

The hands-on, interdisciplinary research continued when the group then presented research at the Midwest Archaeological Conference in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I am very thankful for these amazing experiences and proud of the work I was able to accomplish in that time.

What do you enjoy most about life in Indianapolis?

The city has most everything that a major city would have; however, unlike other cities that I have lived, the accessibility of the city makes it a place that you can get out and enjoy. The state museums are world class, there are multiple music venues, a wide array of food choices, and it has one of the largest municipal parks in the United States with Eagle Creek.

Please provide some details about your work/research as a graduate student and/or any activities you are involved in.

My master’s research focuses on Lawrenz Gun Club (11Cs4), a Mississippian Period (A.D. 1050-1425) village located in the central Illinois River valley of west-central Illinois. The village remained poorly understood until initial excavations began in 2010 led by Dr. Jeremy J. Wilson’s (IUPUI) field school. Lawrenz is a large, fortified Mississippian period village with multiple earthworks, plazas, and structures within and outside palisades. The household structures provide a unique opportunity to evaluate the working assemblage and domestic activities of the Mississippian people residing at the village. These structures, dating to the 14th century, were incinerated during the final days of the village’s occupation, which left a rich and relatively complete picture of the households.

My main research question asks what constitutes a prototypical household at a site like the Lawrenz Gun Club. From a diachronic perspective, the broader questions ask, how were the relations of domestic production within the household (re)organized with broader changes in the social and economic landscape of the central Illinois River valley during the Mississippian period. I focus on the analysis of material culture including ceramic, lithic, faunal and botanical sub-assemblages from two domestic structures excavated at Lawrenz. These in situ assemblages provide a relatively accurate palimpsest of what everyday life was like during a period of endemic warfare, culture contact and climate change in west-central Illinois.