On Thursday, April 7, the Kelsey Museum hosted an awards ceremony for the four winners of this year’s Kelsey Prize for Excellence in Archaeological Research and Interpretation. The essays and projects submitted by these U-M undergrads demonstrated careful research and thoughtful interpretation of objects in the Kelsey Museum’s archaeological collections.
- Jason Leaym, a third-year majoring in classical civilization with minors in history and Latin language and literature, submitted an essay called “The Crown Jewel: Female Agency through Jewelry,” in which he analyzes the agency that Roman women gained through jewelry.
- Anna Luurtsema, a third-year in the LSA Honors Program majoring in anthropology, submitted an essay titled “Two Sides of the Same Tablet: The Timelessness of Teaching, Writing, and Creativity,” which focuses on the enduring power of writing and education.
- Araceli Rizzo, a third-year studying classical archaeology, submitted the essay “A Change in Change: An Examination of the Imagery of Ptolemy I Soter’s Coinage from the Early Years of His Reign." In it, Araceli discusses the way that Macedonian identity, as introduced to conquered lands by Alexander, persisted and mingled with local identity following his conquest and death.
- Dani Tutak, a third-year pursuing dual degrees in art and design as well as anthropology, created a collection of acid-etched copper coins inspired by ancient numismatic examples. Dani created the coins to serve as an analogy to human connection, how people interact, and how ideas spread.
The ceremony began at 2:00 PM, with about 20 guests in attendance. Education Programs Assistant Stephanie Wottreng Haley introduced Kelsey Museum Director Nicola Terrenato, who said a few words about the Kelsey Prize and how excited the Kelsey community was for these students. Stephanie then introduced each student, who came forward to say a few words of thanks and to give a brief PowerPoint presentation about their research. The students were then presented with their awards: a selection of Kelsey Museum publications and $250 in prize money.
The objects that inspired the students’ projects are now on display in a mini-exhibition in the Kelsey Museum. Images of the objects and the installation are available to view on our website, where you can also learn more about this year's winners and read their essays.