Where are they Now?: Gracie Riehm

Since taking the Singer-Moye field school in 2012, Gracie Reihm has completed an MA at the University of Alabama and has moved on to a PhD at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. She has also been the teaching assistant for another field school at Moundville. Read more about her academic trajectory in this week’s edition of “Where are they now?”


The 2012 UGA field school at Singer-Moye at the field house and lab in Lumpkin. Gracie is under the yellow arrow. It was a big crew that year!

Where are you now?

I did field school at Singer-Moye in the summer of 2012. Has it really already been five years? I spent the next two years working at the Georgia Archaeological Site File and graduated from UGA in May 2014. I went on to a master’s program at the University of Alabama with Dr. John Blitz, graduating in May 2016. And now I’m at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill working on my PhD with Dr. Vin Steponaitis! (A perennial student right here…)

What are you studying?

My master’s thesis was a seriation of Pensacola ceramics. It was a nice, straightforward project that really refined my ceramic analysis skills and has already found its way into gray literature (report writing) use! I plan to continue working with Pensacola ceramics on the side. For my PhD, I’m interested in the pre-Creek sociopolitical landscape. Zones of early coalescence consisted of heterogenous communities. I’m exploring the use of ceramic assemblages to assess identity and social transformation in ethnically diverse “protohistoric” villages.


How did field school help prepare you for this trajectory?

I remember that someone told me before that summer that field school makes or breaks an archaeologist. To whoever told me that, thank you. Sometimes I think sheer stubbornness got me through that summer, because it certainly wasn’t natural talent. The Singer-Moye field school gave me a strong foundation for a still-growing skill set. Stefan didn’t go easy on us and said that his whole goal was to prepare us to be able to work in CRM; he did that and so much more. I’ve been able to translate my field school skills into work as a CRM field tech, a teaching assistant at the Moundville field school, and a researcher in charge of my own projects. I wouldn’t be who I am without that summer in Lumpkin, Georgia. There’s nothing I love more than trying to convince my students that this is the best field school they could attend!

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About Dr. Jennifer Birch

I am an archaeologist who specializes in the Archaeology of Eastern North America. Conceptually, my interests are underpinned by the desire to understand how the lived experiences of individuals and communities articulates with long-term, large-scale processes of social and cultural change. My current research is concerned with the development of organizational complexity and diversity in eastern North America. Ongoing projects in Northeastern North America include: - Geophysical investigations of Late Precontact Iroquoian Villages - Regional synthesis of data on Iroquoian settlement patterns, including intra-site patterns, interregional interaction, and geopolitical realignment Ongoing projects in Southeastern North America include: - Multi-scalar investigations of the Late Woodland to Mississippian transition in the Deep South - Household and community archaeology at the Singer-Moye site
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