Today: Jun 17, 2024

Marlo Delchiario digs into the past

Marlo Delchiario, left, president of the Anthropology Club, and Colleen Swift, right, vice president, discuss their tight-knit club.

Aaron Berkowitz – General Assignment Reporter

Marlo Delchiario said that her love for archaeology is unexplainable and that ever since she was little she has had the passion for uncovering the past.

Delchiario, senior and anthropology major, said that she’s been on more excavations than she can count already and she wants to travel more at some point to do some classical archaeology, but for now she is content with what she has uncovered locally.

“I wouldn’t say found as much as I would say uncovered,” said Delchiario. “But in Southeastern Connecticut we were on an abandoned Jewish farming community, we were searching for a ‘Mikvah’, which is a Jewish ritual bath… The experience was awesome and a lot of people are really excited about it.”

According to Delchiario, October is archaeology awareness month in Connecticut and she said it’s important to her to find local events for the Anthropology Club to attend. Delchiario, who is also the president of the Anthropology Club, said that two years ago she couldn’t think of anything to do in Connecticut that would help her pursue a future in archaeology.

“Up until two years ago, I thought that there was no way that I would make it anywhere in this field, unless I moved to Italy,” said Delchiario. “In the past year that has changed so much because there is so much going on in the state that people don’t even know about.”

Colleen Swift, senior anthropology major, said that as the vice president of the Anthropology Club she encourages students to come check out the weekly group meetings, which take place every Wednesday at 4:45 p.m. in the anthropology department conference room, located in Engleman.

“We are a small, tight knit club,” said Delchiario. “Everyone in the group is dedicated and has different interests; all students are welcomed to come check us out.”

Marlo Delchiario, left, president of the Anthropology Club, and Colleen Swift, right, vice president, discuss their tight-knit club.
Marlo Delchiario, left, president of the Anthropology Club, and Colleen Swift, right, vice president, discuss their tight-knit club.

Swift and Delchiario said that their passion for digging and uncovering the past is “therapeutic” for them. Swift said that she finds Archaeology so interesting because it makes her think about what a person was thinking so many years before her.

“I’m actually writing my thesis paper on the nature center at West Rock state park,” said Swift. “The past always interested me. The fact that you could pull a stone tool out of the ground that no one has touched for a couple thousand years is exciting.”

Delchiario said that on Nov. 1, 2012, as Hurricane Sandy passed through Connecticut she was involved in her biggest excavation to date.

“A tree fell over on the Green and a passerby saw human remains and reported it to the cops,” said Delchiario. “The next day, the story actually went national and I got an invitation from a professor to come down to the scene.”

According to Delchiario, a small group went down to the Green and brushed around the scene where the corpse was found for hours, hoping to uncover more bones.

“I must have been brushing around for three and half hours,” said Marlo. “The professor said let’s take lunch and I told him just a few more minutes. As soon as he said ‘Stop,’ a part of a skull fell into my hands.”

Delchiario said that finding bones or human remains are what make the job worth it and that she felt like she was surrounded by a “history blanket.”

“All I could scream was ‘Bones!’” said Delchiario. “It was like a teeth shower. That was amazing because it was national news and it was human remains, which are rare to come across, especially for someone  who doesn’t have professional experience.”

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