Phe Crampton, Abbe Intern

Phe Crampton, an eleventh grade student at George Stevens Academy, recently spent two weeks completing an Independent Study at the Abbe Museum.  While at the Abbe, Phe interned primarily with Julia Clark, Curator of Collections, in the Abbe's Archaeology Lab.  Phe also shadowed other Abbe Staff members, assisting with various tasks, to get a behind-the-scenes experience of museum operations.  Below is Phe's account of her time here at the Abbe Museum:

Intern Phe Crampton
For my two week Independent Study, I had the pleasure to spend it interning with Julia Clark at the Abbe Museum. I chose this as my project because I knew very little about archaeology and the history of Native people in Maine  and wanted to learn more. I am pleased to say that I have learned an incredible amount and am still learning more as I finish up my second week. Working hands-on in the archaeology lab, reading books, helping to create a “MaineMemory Network” online exhibit, and doing other small things around the museum has helped  me get a strong understanding of how a museum is run and discovering the unique history of the Wabanaki.

I have been spending my days looking at old photographs, reading books such as The Canoe Indians of Down East Maine, photographing collections, cataloging books from a collection donated by Dr. Ester Pastore, helping to set up for an event called the Winter Gathering and my personal favorite, cleaning off 2,000 year-old animal bones, flakes, pottery and shells, and cataloging them. Along with these tasks, Julia has incorporated into my schedule many more small activities for me to do that allow me to get a sneak-peak of other jobs around the museum. Cleaning off the animal bones, flakes, pottery and shells with a toothbrush has interested me the most. It was so fun to see the markings engraved on the small pieces of pottery and to see the tiny fish vertebra. Everything looked so much more impressive with the dirt cleaned off. After I finished cleaning some I was able to catalog them and even found some fragments of tools made from bone.

In all, I have been able to learn so much in my time at the Abbe. I hope to continue to learn more about the Wabanaki and I hope that archaeology and history play a part in my future education. I’d like to thank the kind and intelligent staff at the Abbe, who have generously welcomed me, and especially my helpful mentor, Julia!