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Archaeology StaffGet to know the Archaeology staff at the Ohio History Connection.
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Ohio History Connection staff are working with Ohio's strong and committed archaeological community to increase awareness, train educators and preserve and interpret Ohio's rich ancient past, at the Center in Columbus, at historic sites around the state and through publications and educational programs.

Brad.Lepper | Meghan Marley |Linda Pansing | Bill Pickard | Martha Otto | Juli Six | Archaeologists at the State Historic Preservation Office

Brad Lepper

Curator of Archaeology

Dr. Lepper earned his B.A. degree from the University of New Mexico and his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the Ohio State University. His primary areas of interest include the Ice Age peoples of North America, Ohio's magnificent mounds and earthworks, and the history of North American archaeology. Dr. Lepper has written extensively on these subjects for both technical journals and magazines intended for a general audience. He is the author of the book, Ohio Archaeology: an illustrated chronicle of Ohio's ancient American Indian cultures, published in 2005 by Orange Frazer Press. He also writes a bi-weekly column on archaeology for the Columbus Dispatch.

Especially noteworthy research includes the excavation of the Burning Tree mastodon in December of 1989 (named one of the top 50 science discoveries of 1990 by Discovermagazine in their January 1991 issue) and the discovery of the Great Hopewell Road, first reported in 1995 (see Archaeology magazine, November/December 1995). Dr. Lepper's research on the Great Hopewell Road was featured in the public television documentary Searching for the Great Hopewell Road first broadcast in April of 1998.

Dr. Lepper was born and raised in northeastern Ohio, and now lives in Newark, in the vicinity of the extensive ancient earthworks of that region, with his wife Karen, two children, two dogs, and four cats.

Dr. Lepper is an occasional visiting professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Denison University in Granville.

Meghan Marley

Collections Assistant 

Meghan has had an interest and curiosity in ancient civilizations and history since early childhood.  This interest led her to earn a BA in History with minors in Latin and Classical Civilizations at Denison University.  During the summer of her senior year in college, Meghan attended an archaeological field school at a medieval castle at Walhain-saint-Paul in Brabant, Belgium.  This experience inspired her to pursue a career in archaeology and led her to earn a MA in Classical Archaeology from Florida State University (with a focus in Etruscan and Roman archaeology).
After attending two more field schools in Salemi, Sicily and in Milan, Ohio, Meghan pursued a career in Cultural Resource Management (CRM) working as a field technician throughout the Midwest.  She also assisted the Cleveland Museum of Natural History with their summer field school for three years at the Heckelman Site and at Burrell Orchard as an assistant supervisor.
Her involvement with the Cleveland Museum of Natural History encouraged her to pursue a career in museums.  This led to her volunteering in the archaeology department of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History as well as a collections internship at the Firelands Historical Society.  In 2014, Meghan received her MA in Museum Studies from Johns Hopkins University.
As an Archaeology Collections Assistant, Meghan assists with field excavations and performs collections care duties.

Linda Pansing

Curator of Archaeology

Linda started at the Ohio History Connection after she recieved her BA in Anthropology from Ohio State University in 1999. As Curator she is responsible for the creation and upkeep of department databases and records, cataloging and other collection care and research duties. In the course of her work she has had the opportunity to conduct investigations at several Ohio History Connection holdings including Pickawillany; Fort Ancient; U.S. Grant Boyhood Home, Schoolhouse, and Birthplace; John Rankin House; Miamisburg Mound; Fort Meigs; Flint Ridge Ancient Quarries & Nature PreserveNewark Earthworks; Leo Petroglyphs and Nature Preserve; William Henry Harrison Tomb; Quaker Yearly Meeting House; Zoar Villiage; Paul Laurence Dunbar House; and the Ohio River Museum.

Linda is an avid scuba diver and has managed to mesh her passion for archaeology with diving right here in Ohio. She is a founding member of the Maritime Archaeological Survey Team (MAST), a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to the documentation of Ohio's underwater cultural resources, otherwise known as shipwrecks. Efforts of MAST have resulted in the instruction of hundreds of scuba divers from Ohio, surrounding states and Canada on underwater survey techniques; Ohio, national and international shipwreck law, research and report writing. The outcomes have been the listing of shipwrecks as Ohio archaeological sites with the State Historic Preservation Office, project reports, and Ohio's first underwater dive slates (maps) of shipwrecks.

In addition to MAST, Linda's other memberships include the American Anthropological Association, Association for Great Lakes History, Midwest Archaeological Conference, National Speleological Society, Ohio Archaeological Council, Ohio Council of Skin and Scuba Divers, Save Ontario Shipwrecks, Society of American Anthropologists, Society for Historical Archaeology and several Ohio dive clubs.

She was born and raised in Marion County, just north of Waldo, Ohio. She presently resides in Delaware with her husband Scott, Dee Dee the dog, and Zoë the cat.

Bill Pickard

Assistant Curator

Born and raised in central Ohio, William Pickard worked several years in the pipeline construction industry before becoming involved in archaeology as a discipline. Since doing so he has participated at different levels in investigations at some very unique sites both in and outside the state of Ohio. A 1995 graduate of the Ohio State University with degrees in anthropology and art history, William joined the OHS staff in 1999 to assist in the cataloging of artifacts for the mandated NAGPRA survey although he had previously worked on research projects affiliated with the Ohio History Connection. These included the Burning Tree Mastadon excavations in 1989, Serpent Mound in 1991, the Great Circle in Newark in 1992 and Fort Laurens and Flint Ridge Ancient Quarries & Nature Preserve in 1997.

Prior to joining the Ohio History Connection staff he was involved in a variety of projects sponsored by other institutions such as the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, the National Park Service and the Buffalo Museum of Science at such notable sites as the Capitolium Mound in Marietta, Ohio, the Highbank and Hopeton earthworks and the Hopewell Mound group in Ross County Ohio and the East Wenatchee Clovis Site in East Wenatchee, Washington.

Since the completion of the NAGPRA survey Bill has supervised the archaeology connected with the reconstruction of Fort Meigs and remote sensing projects and excavations at the Fort Laurens, Pickawillany, Fort Ancient Earthworks & Nature Preserve and the U.S. Grant Boyhood Home & Schoolhouse sites. He also does archaeological monitoring of construction and capital improvement projects at the many Ohio History Connection sites. He is currently overseeing in the field the Save America's Treasures erosion control and restoration project at Fort Ancient Earthworks & Nature Preserve. Other duties at Ohio History Connection involve assisting visiting researchers as well as the cataloging and physical maintenance of the archaeological collections. Bill has authored and co-authored a number of articles and reports, and given several papers at professional meetings and numerous presentations to avocational and other interest groups.

William's other fields of interest include pre-Civil War firearms, edged weapons and accouterments, flint projectile point typology, flint sourcing and stone tool technology.

For pastime enjoyment Bill enjoys photography, traveling to different archaeological sites and exhibits and reading vintage archaeology books and publications.

Martha Otto 

Curator Emerita

Since joining the Ohio History Connection staff in 1961, Martha Otto has served in a variety of capacities from Student Assistant to Senior Curator of Archaeology. During her tenure, she has participated in numerous excavations of Adena, Hopewell, Late Woodland, and Late Prehistoric sites in central and southern Ohio. She has participated in the development and installation of all the exhibits at the Society's archaeological site museums as well as the archaeological exhibits at the Ohio Historical Center, including The First Ohioans and Windows To Our Collections: Ohio's Ancient Past.

As a steward of the Ohio History Connection's extensive archaeological collections, Martha works with staff and volunteers to physically maintain the collections and to make them more accessible to the public. Martha coordinates loans of Ohio History Connection artifacts for exhibition at other institutions, most recently with the Art Institute of Chicago to which a number of objects were loaned a number of objects for the critically-acclaimed, multi-venue show,Hero, Hawk, and Open Hand. She also enjoys working with colleagues from other museums and universities who frequently examine portions of the archaeological collections as part of their own research projects. The Ohio History Connection's Late Woodland collections formed the basis for her Master's degree in anthropology from the Ohio State University.

In the area of public education, Martha teaches DISCOVER ARCHAEOLOGY!, a program that introduces elementary school classes to the science of archaeology in an interactive, hands-on program including both field work and laboratory experience. She assisted in the production of and provided content for two CD-ROMs produced by the Ohio History Connection, The Hopewell Mound Group: Its People and Their Legacy, and What's the Point? Identifying Flint Artifacts.

Her personal research interests focus on the development of ceramics and of agriculture in the Ohio Valley. Her study of the effigy pipes from the Tremper mound is documented in: Masterworks in Pipestone: Treasures from Tremper Mound, Timeline, 1(1), Ohio History Connection, Columbus (1984); A Prehistoric Menagerie: Ohio Hopewell Effigy Pipes;Proceedings of the 1989 Smoking Pipe Conference: Selected Papers, Rochester Museum and Science Center Research Records No. 22, Rochester, NY (1992)

She also recently contributed a chapter, A Brief History of Archaeological Investigations at Fort Ancient, Warren County, Ohio, in The Fort Ancient Earthworks: Prehistoric Lifeways of the Hopewell Culture in Southwestern Ohio, edited by Connolly and Lepper, and published by OHS (2004).

Martha has served as president of the Archaeological Society of Ohio, the Ohio Archaeological Council, and the Eastern States Archaeological Federation.

Martha and her husband, Frank, are active in a number of local ASO chapters. Leisure-time activities include traveling with Frank, particularly to other museums and archaeological sites.

Juli Six

Collections Assistant

Having lived in Ohio all her life, Juli visited COSI and Campus Martius so often that she memorized the exhibits as a child. Her innate curiosity fueled her dream of one day working in a museum. As an adult, preparation for a career in Museum Studies included but was not limited to: Federal work study in identification of Ohio fauna skeletal remains; Johnson’s Island Civil War Military Prison Archaeological Field School; Field work for Forensic Archaeology Cold Case Team at The Ohio State University; Fort Center Archaeological Field School (Ecology, Ritual, and Monument Construction in South Florida); as well as an internship at the Arctic Studies Center of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.

Adding to a strong background in photography and design, Juli received her Bachelor’s Degree with Honors from The Ohio State University in 2011 majoring in Physical Anthropology with a minor in Forensic Sciences. Her primary academic focus was skeletal markers of disease and interpersonal violence in prehistoric individuals. 2011 also marked the beginning of an internship and subsequent employment at the Ohio History Center.

As an Archaeology Collections Assistant Juli performs stewardship duties for the human remains and database which comprise the Society’s NAGPRA collection. She provides support to the curators in many ways including researching and cataloging artifacts and field excavation (Newark Earthworks, Pickawillany, Serpent Mound, Zoar). Juli also assists in online database maintenance and public service in the Ohio History Center Archives/Library. Aiding patrons in genealogy research is an important part of her duties in the library.

Volunteerism has always been a major part of Juli’s continuing education, most notably is her enduring relationship with her “little” through the Hispanic Mentoring Center at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Ohio. Through volunteering she also joined the 2012 Rotary Group Study Exchange to South Korea and continues her volunteer work for the Rotary Club and the Ohio History Center’s Ohio Village.

Archaeologists at the State Historic Preservation Office

The Ohio History Connection also has a number of archaeologists at the State Historic Preservation Office who are involved in archaeological programs throughout the state.

We also appreciate the hard work of the interns and volunteers who have spent hundreds of hours of their time working on projects both in the lab and out in the field. For information on volunteer opportunities, click here.

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