After having completed a professional development workshop at the State Museum of New York in Albany entitled “Archaeology in the Classroom” in the summer of 2013, Adrianne Pierce, Head of Classics at Hackley School, began to incorporate archaeological practica and curriculum into her Middle and Upper School classes. Students excavated chocolate chips from cookies, tracked their household trash, and catalogued “unknown artifacts” from a fictional dig site. Not content with in-class archaeology, Dr. Pierce and her Latin 4 high school sophomore and junior students petitioned the administration to allow them to open a small trench on the school’s campus in the spring of 2015. Armed with a rudimentary skill set and a lot of enthusiasm, HackDigs was born, down by the tennis courts at the edge of the woods. In the five digging seasons since then, our victories have been small but exciting – lots of glass, pottery, a couple of coins, and other refuse – until this spring, when we discovered our first bones! The history of Hackley, as we are uncovering it, is still evolving, and we are thrilled to be playing a role in telling the story of the school.
Dr. Adrianne E. Pierce
Dr. Pierce has been on the faculty of Hackley School since 1995 and Head of the Classics Department since 2003. She received her B.A. in Classics from Swarthmore College and her M.A. and PhD from Johns Hopkins University specializing in Latin epic poetry. Forever an armchair archaeologist, Dr. Pierce has enjoyed the learning opportunities archaeology has brought to her students, whether through digging at the campus site, watching episodes of the BBC’s “Time Team”, curating the finds, or working interdisciplinarily and inter-divisionally with other students and faculty. Thinking of the texts the students read as artifacts has provided them with a new lens through which to interpret their Classics studies.