Note that this blog post was completed by a Spring 2017 intern in the Virtual Curation Laboratory as part of the internship requirements
by Adam Blakemore
I had hoped to start this blog entry with a pun, as I feel that nothing could capture my experience with this internship more fully. Working with Dr. Means has been one of the most interesting experiences that I’ve had here at VCU, and is one of the few chances that I’ve had to get some actual hands-on experience with real laboratory techniques. While working with the artifacts has been a rewarding experience, and my painting skills have improved by leaps and bounds, the coolest part for me has been the chance to work with 3-D scanning and printing technology. For my money, there is nothing better than rolling up my sleeves and getting to straight to work with a new toy, and trust me when I say that there is no new toy as shiny as a big ole’ 3-D printer.
Over the course of the semester, I also had the opportunity to attend several events focused on not only local archaeology projects, but also on the use of 3-D scanning and printing for other fields, like medicine and art. I also had the opportunity to become much better friends with several of the other interns, which is probably a good thing since I’ll be working with several of them at the Germanna field school this summer. It has also been interesting getting to work with people who have different approaches to the work, and have different career paths then I do; Madelyn with her Bioarchaeology, Isabella and Ashley with their Art Majors, CodeVA with their mission to make these technologies accessible to children all over the state.
The people I have met and the experiences I have had have reinforced my interest in the field, and the lab experience that we have received as interns will serve us well in our future careers (assuming of course that those careers still exist in 5 years). Working with the good doctor has been an awesome experience, and one that I would recommend to any VCU anthropology student.