ethnography: the scientific description of the customs of individual peoples and cultures.
From discovering ancient artifacts to impromptu local wedding parties, Krystal’s archaeology study tour in Jordan was the cultural experience of a lifetime. Excited and ready for adventure, Krystal Uzeugbu, a junior studying music and anthropology, came to Andrews eager to learn the skills needed to pursue a career in ethnomusicology, the study of music in its cultural context. As an anthropology student, one of the requirements is to go on a study tour during the summer. Krystal describes one of the many benefits of going on a study tour as “the chance to apply what I learn in class to an impactful project in a different country.” One of those impactful projects was the opportunity to learn about Jordanian culture through excavating an ancient biblical site.
For three weeks during Jordan’s arid summer, Krystal excavated a worksite looking for artifacts that further explain Jordanian history. Every day began by waking up at 5 a.m. to work at the Hesbon site (located east of the Jordan River). The first few days Krystal was “really excited about excavating my square and getting to know my excavating partner.” By the end of two weeks, the archaeological study tour group had found animal bones, glass bracelets from the Mamluk period, Byzantine coins, and two ancient jars perfectly intact!
musicology: the study of music as an area of knowledge or as a field of research
The three weeks in Jordan were not only spent at the Hesbon excavation site, but also included interesting lectures throughout the tour, emphasizing Jordanian culture as well as the influence the culture has on daily practices. The most interesting lecture was given by the on-site water resevior specialist. Krystal said, “He told the lecture as a Dr. Seuss rhyme! It was definitely entertaining.” As a result of the lectures, Krystal was pleasantly surprised by her genuine interest in learning more about Jordanian culture, “I really enjoyed learning new words, eating with the Jordanians, and learning more about Arabian music.”
Krystal was particularly interested in Arabian music. In order to fulfill the requirement for her ethnography course, she decided to study how American and Arabian music styles influence their respective cultures. By interviewing locals and attending a local wedding reception, Krystal found that “Arabian music tends to have more national and religious themes while popular American music has themes of a partying lifestyle.” This cultural analysis further excited Krystal in pursuing a career in ethnomusicology, which focuses on studying music as a way to understand culture.
As a result of her excavating and ethnography projects completed during the study tour, Krystal realized how her passion for music and anthropology can be applied to different cultural settings and the impact it has on understanding other people. The study tour in Jordan further illuminated the possibilities of her combined majors at Andrews University. Overall, Krystal describes her study tour as a “trip that has definitely inspired me in many ways and has motivated my career path. I will be back in Jordan soon, enshallah (God willing)!”
Interested in learning more about human societies and their cultural development? Majoring in Anthropology may be right for you!
Do you want to take your Andrews study experience around the world? Consider a study tour!