Darra Stuart

Headshot of Darra Stuart



Department: Global and International Studies, Environmental Studies

Describe your work in a few sentences that we can all understand:

Uncovering old homes and artifacts at the biblical site of Gath in Israel, in an attempt to date the earliest civilizations on site. Determining dating through carbon dating and pottery creates an accurate historical timeline that may then be compared or matched to the bible.

Q: Who mentors your project?

A: Dr. Eric Welch, Jewish Studies

Q: What surprised you about doing research?

A: My research has been incredibly hands on due to the nature of archaeology. What surprised me was the amount of paperwork and data that needed to be kept and archived. Nothing that was taken from the site could go undocumented. Much of the research was more than just digging.

 Q: What do you like most about your research?

A: I really enjoy being in the field. The days are long and often times hot, but I like to play in the dirt. It is incredibly exciting and rewarding to find new pots and also to locate and discover floor levels. The area I was working in was dated as one of the earliest sites in the Tell, or city.
Q: What advice would you give to a friend wanting to get involved in research?

A: Dive in head first. If you want to get into research, take any opportunity you are given. I started archaeology on a whim, it was never something I seriously considered. After going to Israel and experiencing archaeology, I now realize that this is something I could do for the rest of my life. If I didn't give myself the chance, I never would have discovered it. So don't be picky, you might surprise yourself.

Q: How do you spend your time when you’re not working on your research?

A: When I am not working on my research, I still enjoy being outside. I am an avid nature enthusiast. I also enjoy being with my sorority sisters and my SUA family.