Meet the Archaeologists
Dan Baicy is an archaeology intern on the distillery site. He received a B.A. in archaeology and history at the University of Virginia. He recently completed his masters degree in anthropology at East Carolina University. Dan's areas of interest include colonial and public archaeology. He is an avid swimmer and water polo player.
Eleanor Breen is the assistant archaeologist of the project and has been at Mount Vernon for a little over a year and a half. She received her B.A. in anthropology from William and Mary and just finished her M.A. in history and historical archaeology from UMass-Boston. In her thesis, she analyzed the ceramic assemblage from a midden deposit dating to the 1740s and 1750s time period at Mount Vernon. She has a cat named Digger.
Brian Buchanan worked as a staff archaeologist May 2002-June 2003. His main interests are in the archaeology of slavery, gender theory, and public education. Brian traces his interest in historical archaeology back to his childhood and the countless historical parks he visited with his parents. He believes that everything in life can be related back to The Simpsons. (Brian has now moved on to CRM.)
Kim Christensen is returning to the distillery site for her third season--her second as a crew chief and first as volunteer coordinator. A graduate of Syracuse University's anthropology program (B.A. 2002), she has also excavated in upstate New York, Tennessee, and the Caribbean. She plans to pursue her interests in historical archaeology, public education issues, and historical social reform movements by attending graduate school following her stint here at Mount Vernon. She makes a mean enchilada, and loves the outdoors and Swedish-made furniture.
Jennifer Strong Ebbert is a crew chief in Mount Vernon's archaeology department beginning her third season excavating the distillery. She received her B.A. in archaeology from the George Washington University and has worked in Petra, Jordan, and Belize. Maps and languages are her passion. At Mount Vernon she has been spearheading a GIS mapping project that brings together the archaeology done across the Mount Vernon Estate and at the distillery. With Laura Seifert, she coauthored and presented a paper on the distillery at the Mid-Atlantic Archaeology Conference this past winter. She is also an artist and domestic goddess. Her husband Frank and their dog Griffin both agree that Lebanese Lamb Stew is Jennifer's best dish.
Lyndsay Graham is an archaeology intern for the next six months. She recently received her bachelor's degree in historic preservation from Mary Washington College. Lyndsay is interested in ceramic studies as well as the archaeology of slavery. She loves watching films.
Lisa Kraus is currently working on an M.A. in historical archaeology at University of Texas, Austin, where she ultimately plans to complete her Ph.D. She has worked at a variety of sites in the southeast as a field archaeologist. Her main areas of interest are the archaeology of colonial Virginia and the archaeology of slavery.
Gwyneth Maccubbin became interested in archaeology after attending an archaeology summer camp on colonial history. She attended Penn State and focused on the Maya, writing her undergraduate honors thesis on ancient Maya writing. Gwyn hopes to gain experience in public archaeology and educational outreach while at Mount Vernon.
Leigh Oldershaw is currently working toward her B.A. in anthropology and classical studies at the College of William and Mary. Her primary interests lie in classical archaeology and skeletal remains. She is spending this summer working as an intern at the distillery site at Historic Mount Vernon in order to broaden her knowledge of eighteenth-century American archaeology. This will be her second field season at Mount Vernon; she worked as a volunteer the previous season. Leigh's internship is sponsored by the Ford Motor Company.
Dennis Pogue is the associate director of Historic Mount Vernon for Preservation, where he oversees the historic structures, all restorations and reconstructions, and the associated research necessary to maintain and interpret Washington's home. For 25 years, Dennis has excavated at sites in the Chesapeake including King's Reach, Martin's Hundred, and Governor's Land. He has worked at Mount Vernon since 1987 in a series of positions. Until 1994 he served as the chief archaeologist and was responsible for creating the plantation's archaeology program. He holds a Ph.D. in anthropology from American University, M.A. in american studies from George Washington University, and received his B.A. in history from the University of Iowa, where he grew up. He serves as the overall project manager for the distillery project as well as the primary liaison with our donor, DISCUS. In conclusion, he urges archaeologists to go forth and measure.
Mandy Ranslow is an archaeology intern. She has recently graduated from Boston University. Her past-experiences have been in cultural resource management in Connecticut. Go Terrier Hockey!
Laura Seifert is a crew chief and has been working at Mount Vernon for two years. She has a B.A. from Syracuse University. She co-authored a paper this winter (with Jennifer Ebbert) on how the distillery was set up and how it functioned. After some cajoling from her co-workers, she was Lara Croft for Halloween last year.
Laura Shick earned her B.A. in anthropology at Bowdoin College and is
currently an M.A. student at American University. This is her second season
at Mount Vernon, and this summer she is running the soil flotation
laboratory. She's interested in public archaeology, archaeobotanical
analysis, and forensic anthropology. After hours in the hot sun, she thinks
the muddy water in the flotation tank looks good enough to drink, like
Megan Veness is a six-month intern with the archaeology department. She graduated from James Madison University with a B.S. in anthropology with a concentration in archaeology with minors in history and historical archaeology. Megan hopes to continue work at historical homes on the east coast before attending grad school.
Lacey Wallace is a ten-week intern with the distillery excavation and has dug previously in the Mediterranean at a Talyotic site in Menorca, Spain. She is a senior at Boston University studying archaeology and art history. Lacey will complete her senior thesis on an assemblage of personal adornment items in an identity study from the Spencer-Peirce-Little house site in Newbury, MA.
Esther White is the director of archaeology, overseeing the excavation and historical research of the distillery. She has been with Mount Vernon since 1989 and worked as the assistant archaeologist until 1994. She graduated from the University of North Carolina with degrees in history and anthropology (where she had classes with Michael Jordan), and has an M.A. in anthropology from the College of William and Mary. Her particular archaeological interests include ceramics, plantation life, and public archaeology. Prior to immersing herself in George Washington, she excavated a variety of historic and prehistoric sites in the Chesapeake region. Mostly she loves to travel and has visited three of the four Legolands in the last year with her family.