This summer, two Hiram students, Colton Allen ’23, an environmental studies major, and Kevin Karl ’26, an undeclared major, will be traveling to Sardinia, Italy to participate in an archaeological excavation.

Thanks to a generous alumnus, Tom Grey ’85, the students will be able to participate in a project at no cost called the Tharros Archaeological Research Project, sponsored by the University of Cincinnati, alongside Hiram’s Matthew Notarian, Ph.D., assistant professor of classics. The project’s focus will cover an ancient Roman port city located on a narrow peninsula on the west coast of Sardinia which overlooks the Mediterranean. Both Hiram students will work with a team that mainly comprises faculty and Ph.D. students from various institutions around the world.

“This is a really extraordinary opportunity for students at the undergraduate level to contribute meaningfully to high-level research,” said Dr. Notarian. He has mentored his students on the tasks they will work on with the archaeological team, which will include, managing the Geographic Information System (GIS) database and creating 3D models using photogrammetry, both with a handheld camera and flying a drone. The team uses iPads to record data onsite, and Dr. Notarian and his students will have the opportunity to experiment by using the iPads’ built-in LiDAR for 3D recording.

“These are 21st-century skills with wide application outside of archaeological research. They’ll also learn about archaeological excavation and everything that goes into digging and cataloging artifacts too,” said Dr. Notarian.

Dr. Notarian and his students will be living in Oristano near the site and have many opportunities to experience Italy authentically for the month of June and part of July.

By Elyse Pitkin