Contact: Wendel Sloan at 505.562.2253
Reporter: Marc Shoder
Sharon Hull, an Eastern New Mexico University graduate student in archaeology, was recently featured recently in the Oak Ridge National Laboratory Review.
"The article is about the work I am doing here at Oak Ridge," said the Tennessee native. "It is about the development of an archaeological technique to identify turquoise source deposits."
She said that most of the work done at Oak Ridge is for the Department of Energy or research in the hard sciences. The project is funded through a National Science Foundation grant with Dr. Mostafa Fayek as the principal investigator and Dr. Frances Mathien as co-principal investigator.
"This research should lead to the reconstruction of pre-Columbian turquoise trade networks and understanding the social complexity of prehistoric Native American cultures," Hull said.
A non-traditional student returned who to school after 25 years to study anthropology with a focus in archaeology, Hull said, "I have been interested in archaeology for many years. There are so many questions and mysteries to solve; I find it very interesting and intriguing."
Hull credits her studies in Eastern's anthropology department for contributing to the research. "ENMU has had a great contribution to this research," said Hull. "Dr. Phillip Shelley taught a geo-archaeology class that was essential in helping me understand the concepts behind the extensive geochemical part of this technique."
Hull believes that the opportunity that she was given to work on this project was one she couldn't pass up. "I have worked with state-of-the-art equipment and have had many specialized people to help with the various parts of this research," said Hull. "I am very lucky."
Hull added that the research has been successful and that she has been recently accepted to the University of Manitoba to continue with the research while working on her Ph.D. "My advisor for my master's degree, Dr. Phillip Shelley, is very supportive of this project and has been a great help," she said.