View from the Hill: Kentucky Archaeological Survey moves to WKU
- Author: WKU News
- Author: Thursday, June 13th, 2019
From left: Dr. David Pollack, director of Kentucky Archaeological Survey; Eric Schlarb, KAS staff archaeologist; Dr. Jay Stottman, KAS assistant director; and Dr. Darlene Applegate, head of WKU’s Department of Folk Studies and Anthropology. (WKU photo by Bryan Lemon)
The Kentucky Archaeological Survey (or KAS) finds a new home at WKU after being cut from the University of Kentucky. The agency will continue serving the whole state as WKU's Amy Bingham explains in this week’s View from the Hill.
Since 1995, Kentucky Archaeological Survey has worked with teachers, students, landowners, communities and government agencies to protect archaeological sites and educate the public about Kentucky’s rich archaeological heritage. Thanks to WKU, this work will continue. (More: Kentucky Archaeological Survey Joins WKU's Department of Folk Studies and Anthropology)
“This has been one of the most difficult times in my life.”
Eric Schlarb has been a staff archaeologist for Kentucky Archaeological Survey (or KAS) since 1997. A few months ago he thought he was losing his job.
“It was rather shocking when the dean of Arts and Sciences at the University of Kentucky decided that he no longer wanted to do the kinds of things we do, public outreach work with school kids.”
Then in May, WKU’s Department of Folk Studies and Anthropology offered to house the program here.
“The opportunity to come to Western really makes a huge difference. It enables us to continue to do the work we’ve been building the last twenty years.”
KAS is nationally known for its leadership in public archaeology.
“Having that reputation at Western is going to increase our profile. We expect it’s going to help us recruit students in our program because they’re gonna have opportunities here beyond the ones we can already offer to students.”
Students in grades K-12 will also benefit from the educational initiatives offered by KAS.
“We would anticipate that teachers, once we get established, can contact us and either we go into the schools or sometimes we have them come to archaeology lab and we have activities for them.”
The lab will be located in Cherry Hall and office space in the Ivan Wilson Fine Arts Center but KAS will mostly be on location bringing archaeology to people of the commonwealth.
“I’ve worked from Harlan to Paducah. I’ve worked in almost every county in the state. Knowing that we can continue to work with people we’ve gotten along with in the past, that means a lot to us.”
“We anticipate that WKU is going to be the hub for public archaeology in the state going forward.”
The Kentucky Archaeological Survey has been and will continue to be a self-funding unit. The 10-year partnership with WKU went into effect on June 1.