Dr. David Jennings, Director of the York Archaeological Trust, visited YES Prep 5th Ward as the guest archeologist-in-residence, an opportunity offered by the Archeological Institute of America- Houston Society.
For two days, Dr. Jennings taught the 10th graders at YES Prep Fifth Ward about an exciting discovery: one of the best preserved Roman gladiatorial burial grounds. Dr. Jennings told students the story of the accidental discovery of the decapitated sets of remains, displayed photos of bite marks and other injuries the people sustained, and discussed DNA evidence. Throughout the lecture, students had the opportunity to ask questions about the findings, offer their own theories, and learn more about archeology as a discipline.
When asked why he became an archeologist, Dr. Jennings stated, “I was always interested in archeology and the past when I was your age. When I was about 14 or 15, I went on excavations. And then I studied at the university. I carried on from there. I never really thought about it as a career. I did it because I enjoy doing it”
Rita Vasak, sophomore seminar teacher at YES Prep 5th Ward, collaborated with AIA-Houston Society to bring Dr. Jennings and other guests to the campus to expose students to new career paths and to college-style academic lectures.
Dr. Jennings and the York Archaeological Trust work to educate students about the past for the benefit of future generations. “We [York Archaeological Trust] are about trying to welcome people into the world of archeology and thinking about the past,” Dr. Jennings said.