Receiving the Heritage Fellowship from ASOR made an incredible difference for me as a graduate student in Nautical Archaeology. Funding through my university for field work is very limited, and is typically only awarded to PhD students pursuing their own research. As a Master’s student, I wanted to continue to get more experience working as a part of an excavation team at the Kizilburun Shipwreck before heading out on my own, and the Heritage Fellowship made that possible.
On a typical excavation budget in the Near East, travel is the largest expense. Because of funding problems that the site director also experienced in the last year, the tough decision was made not to fund student travel to the site. This meant that fewer people would likely be able to go, but also that the smaller team would make experiences in the field all the more valuable. Because I was awarded this fellowship from ASOR, I was able to cover my travel expenses to the site in rural Turkey. On site, we prepared and raised six 7-ton marble column drums from the depths of the sea floor. Being there when these huge artifacts saw the light of day for the first time in more than 2,000 years was an experience I’ll never forget.
I was one of just two students at the Kizilburun site in the summer of 2011, and as a result was entrusted with a great deal of responsibility that will serve me well in my continued work as an archaeologist. I hope that ASOR will be able to continue this program because of the once in a lifetime opportunity it allowed me to pursue.
-Marilyn Cassedy, 2011 Heritage Fellow