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In Ancient Artifacts, A Newfound Passion

Posted on June 17, 2014 10:20 am by Lauren Kirkpatrick

Jordan Karlis describes herself as an "incredibly shy" incoming student at NC State. That's hard to imagine when you see the confident, articulate senior in this video. But listen as she describes how the archaeological dig she worked on in Petra, Jordan -- the Petra North Ridge Project -- changed her life. Take note of her enthusiasm for the research that has given her a window to the ancient past. Hear her describe what a privilege she finds it to work with pieces of pottery that are 2,000 years old -- how connected she feels to the people who once used them. You understand the transformation this first-generation college student has undergone as she conducted research and studied abroad. She has found her passion.

Since she participated in the Petra dig in 2012, Karlis, who's majoring in history and in anthropology, has been immersed in a research project related to the Petra artifacts under the mentorship of  Professor of History S. Thomas Parker. She returned to Amman, Jordan, in 2013 to present her research findings at an international conference."For an undergraduate to give a paper at an international conference is quite a feather in anyone's cap," says Parker, who has served on archaeological expeditions in the Middle East for more than 30 years. "I'm really proud of her."

The featured video was produced by NC State undergraduate students of COM 437, Advanced Digital Video, in 2014.