A Postcard From: Jialu Guo ’19

Name: Jialu Guo
Class Year: 2019
Major: East Asian Languages and Cultures
Hometown: Nanjing, China

Internship Placement: Nanjing Museum Archaeology Department
Job Title: Archaeology Fieldwork Intern
Location: Zhaozhuang Site, Sihong County, Jiangsu Province, China

What’s happening at your internship?

Live internet broadcasting is very popular in China now. What about the combination of internet broadcasting and archaeology? What do the archaeologists do for everyday work? How does the life of our ancestors look like? We broadcast our fieldwork on the internet, answered the questions from the public, and invited some archaeologists specialized in osteoarchaeology and Neolithic archaeology to spread some basic knowledge in archaeology to the audience. We hope our broadcasting can attract more attention to the field of archaeology and clear up misunderstandings of archaeology. Archaeology is not digging for dinosaurs or finding treasures; archaeology is an interdisciplinary subject that can help us to discover the truth of the past.

Why did you apply for this internship?

There are four reasons why I applied for this internship:

First, other than the major of East Asian Languages and Cultures, I also have a minor in archaeology. Of course this internship can take both my major and minor into account.

Secondly, I hope to learn how to transform what have been learned in the classroom into practical use. Archaeology is a very interdisciplinary subject and hands-on experience is an essential part of the study plan. This internship will make my study plan more complete.

After that, I hope this internship experience can inspire my future academic study. I am always very interested in doing some comparison work between the different regions in the world, and I have done some research on comparison archaeology of the classical Roman period and China Han Dynasty in my previous study. Neolithic period is a new topic for me, and I’m taking the course about Near Eastern and South Asian Neolithic revolution at Bryn Mawr. I would like to start some comparison study between the Chinese Neolithic cultures and those emerged on the Arabian Peninsula after this internship.

In the last, this internship will enhance my future professional goals. I am very interested in both archaeology and museum studies, and I interned at the Nanjing Museum for exhibition curatorial and public education during last summer. This summer’s hands-on experience on archaeology excavation will help me gain better understanding on the professional work of both fields in archaeology and museum studies, and will further encourage me to think about which area is more suitable for me in the future.

Was there anything special about how you found this internship?

I was the lucky girl that who did not need application and interview to get this internship. There are always some potential opportunities for those persons who can keep in touch with the people from the previous internship experience, and I’m that person. I met some archaeologists from the archaeology department of the Nanjing Museum during the process of organizing some public archaeology activities in the public educational department. This spring, I contacted them, telling them what I did during my sophomore year and what kind of internship I was looking for in the archaeology department. Two days later, I got this wonderful internship!

What is something you have learned from your internship that you didn’t expect?

I never expected that I would learn something about agriculture and plants from an internship of archaeology fieldwork. The Zhaozhuang Site is located in the countryside and our work place is surrounded by the farmland. Our archaeology team even has our own farmland next to our archaeology site and we grow vegetables there for everyday food.