UWinnipeg Anthropology students to head to the Balkans

 UWinnipeg team now raising funds for flood victims

 Anthropology students in Serbia

Photo: UWinnipeg Anthropology students excavate in Serbia, summer 2013

 WINNIPEG, MB – Torrential rains that have led to deadly floods in the Balkan region will not prevent a team of University of Winnipeg anthropology students from heading to Serbia from July 20 to August 20, where they will engage in an important archeological dig. In preparation for the trip, they have started a fund-raising effort to assist flood victims in the region.

The students are led by Dr. Mirjana Roksandic, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, UWinnipeg. Dr. M. Roksandic is lead investigator in an extremely significant 2008 discovery of mandible (lower human jaw) which is providing a more complete picture of the migration of early humans in and out of Europe. This is possibly the oldest human fossil from South-Eastern Europe recovered in proper archaeological excavations. The project is in conjunction with Belgrade University led by Dr. Dušan Mihailović, University of Belgrade and Bojana Mihailovic, senior curator at the National Museum in Belgrade.

The field school trip consists of eight students; two are from UWinnipeg, one is from Newfoundland, four are from the US and one is from the UK. This summer the students will be excavating Šalitrena cave, in the vicinity of Valjevo, Serbia. This is an impressive Upper Paleolithic site where they hope to uncover evidence of contact between Neandertals and Early modern humans. The area they are excavating has been affected by the recent torrential rain and floods but the site is safe, as the cave is at a higher elevation. The students intend to assist the local community in their clean-up and reconstruction efforts and have started a drive to collect money for flood victims.

“Students participating in the excavations, both the current field school students and those who continue in the project as volunteers and graduate students, are already involved in collecting aid for the flooded regions of Serbia, Bosnia and Croatia,” said Dr. Roksandic. “In addition, we hope to help the local community in cleaning the debris left by swollen rivers and flooding. More than material help, our research always brings positive attention to the country by focusing on its archaeological wealth, natural beauty and hopefully, new fossil finds.”

Watch last year’s students in action.

Anyone who would like to donate to the flood relief effort can contact the Red Cross.

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Diane Poulin, Senior Communications Specialist, The University of Winnipeg

P: 204.988.7135, E: d.poulin@uwinnipeg.ca




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