Latin teacher wins grant for archeology excursion in Britain

By Keane Muraoka-Robertson and Megan Ward

Latin teacher Derek Wilairat will join archeologists in northeastern England for two weeks in July on an all-expenses paid Earthwatch expedition funded by a gift from Black Schlei Lindsley ’92. Earthwatch supports research projects around the world in four areas: ecosystems, climate change, oceans and cultural heritage.

Wilairat was chosen through an application process by the Earthwatch organization. Wilairat is set to stay near a Roman fortress in South Shield, a part of Hadrian’s wall, and take part in the “Unearthing Roman Britain” expedition.

“A lot of [Earthwatch] programs are environmental, but this one is more of an archeological program,” Wilairat said. “The idea is to preserve the cultural heritage of important sites.”

Wilairat, who called archeology a “sub-field of the classics,” will spend most of his days in the dirt going through and looking for artifacts and small cataloging details.

“All the little details add up to the big picture and the archeologist can draw conclusions from that,” Wilairat said.

Wilairat will work alongside professional field researchers in first archeological excursion.

“I’m interested in Roman Britain, so I’m sure I will learn more about Roman history,” Wilairat said. ” And it just seems like a great, well organized expedition.”