Learn about the career of Danielle Silverman, who studied for a BA in Archaeology between 2015-2018. Now she is studying for a PhD in anthropology at the University of Illinois.
What and when did you study at Durham?
I studied at Durham between 2015 and 2018 for my BA in Archaeology.
What are you doing now?
Since my time in university, I have held various professional and academic roles in archaeology. In 2020 I worked as Staff Archaeologist for Cox | McLain Environmental Consulting, Inc. (now Stantec), and have over two years of experience working in cultural resources management for state, federal, and private clients. I have been awarded a University Fellowship as a PhD student in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and I am currently in my second year of the programme. My current research focuses on identifying networks of religious and ritual exchange in South and Southeast Asia. Additionally, I am a Research Assistant at the Field Museum working on the Tallgrass Prairie Archaeological Landscapes Project.
How do you feel your experiences of studying Archaeology at Durham shaped your life afterwards?
Durham University provided me a solid foundation in practical and theoretical archaeological methods. There were many opportunities to be hands-on with the archaeology, through international field schools and local field trips, working with professors on their research projects, or engaging in seminars and practicals. I would certainly not have had the chance to pursue a career in archaeology without my time at this institution, which both inspired and prepared me for a life of archaeological research.
What are your favourite memories/experiences of studying Archaeology at Durham?
Some of my favourite experiences were the field schools. I had the chance to learn practical skills while working on an Early Bronze Age site in Lebanon and a Late Iron Age/Early Roman site in France. These experiences not only provided great opportunities to learn but also allowed me to make connections to some of the closest friends and colleagues I still have today. Funnily enough, I met my husband on my first field school and we are both still archaeologists to this day!
What do you miss most about studying at Durham?
I miss the range of opportunities to engage with colleagues and faculty. The department of archaeology was very welcoming and provided excellent lectures, research opportunities, great funding resources, and social events. Being situated in Durham, home to its own gem of a World Heritage Site, continuously inspired me to engage with the archaeology around me.
What would be your top piece of advice for current students and/or recent graduates?
Take every opportunity as it comes! You never know what niche you will find yourself in, so volunteer, apply, and attend to all events that present themselves to you. Also, make sure to find time for fun. There’s the old adage, “if you’re not having fun, you’re doing something wrong.”
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Learn more about Danielle's research.
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