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Students Study Human Cultural Evolution in France

CONWAY, Ark. (Sept. 14, 2011) – Four Hendrix College students studied the spectacular record of human cultural evolution on a three-week study tour of archaeological monuments and active projects in France.

The project, titled “Archaeology and the Rise of Human Culture in France,” was supported by Your Hendrix Odyssey: Engaging in Active Learning.

Students on the study tour included:

  • Seth Boren, a senior from Star City, Ark.
  • Robin Brown, a junior from Little Rock, Ark.
  • Victoria Garrett, a senior from Little Rock, Ark.
  • Mariah Nehus, a senior from Benton, Ark.

Students were accompanied by Hendrix anthropology professor Dr. Brett Hill, who has extensive experience working and travelling in France. His first job as a professional archaeologist was with the Service Archéologique du Musée de Douai, where he worked as a field supervisor and artifact illustrator for the excavation of several medieval sites.

Travelling by van, the group visited megalithic sites on the Atlantic coast; numerous rock shelters and cave sites in Périgord; the medieval city of Carcassonne; Roman sites in Arles, and Nîmes; Iron Age Bibracte; Lille and the medieval towns of Flanders. They concluded the trip by visiting the Louvre and other museums in Paris.

"We saw some incredible archaeological sites,” said Brown. “It was amazing to be immersed in the French culture. I loved the hands-on learning experiences of the trip … It positively impacted my perspective of archaeology."

“From a cultural standpoint, my favorite things were the music festival in Avignon and trying the regional specialties in all of the places we went,” said Nehus. “Archaeologically I was a big fan of Carnac, Bayeux, and Font de Gaume.”

“It's been kind of funny, everyone who knew about my trip seemed to have the impression that I was just going to Paris,” she said. “So I've had to explain to people that there are other things in France that are more interesting from an archaeological standpoint than Paris.”

Founded in 1876, Hendrix College is a national leader in engaged liberal arts and sciences education. Hendrix was named the country’s #1 “Up and Coming” liberal arts college for the third consecutive year by U.S. News and World Report. Hendrix is featured in the 2011 edition of the Princeton Review as one of the country’s best 376 colleges and is listed in the 2012 edition of the Fiske Guide to College as one of 25 “Best Buy” private colleges included. Hendrix has been affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884. For more information, visit