Making a U Turn --
Profile: NDP alumna, Class of 2004. B.A. and master’s in archeology from the University of Southampton, England. Ph.D. in archeology from Aarhus University, Denmark. Currently an archeologist, living in Germany and specializing in the Bronze Age of central Europe. Fluent in French and German. Scuba diver, mother, voracious reader, museum junkie, history buff.
Along the way: As a teenager, became a licensed scuba diver with the idea of pursuing underwater geology. Then she got hooked on history and the rest is, well, you know...In college, made a U turn, drove straight ahead, and didn’t stop ’til she reached 2000 B.C. Has never looked back. Or forward, depending on your point of view. Sam works for the German Foreign Service and runs two excavations a week, supervising more than 30 other archeologists on each project.
What fuels her: “I dig dead people.” Literally and figuratively. “Really, you can learn so much about the present by looking into the past,” Sam explained. By the same token, “I’m not a Luddite. Using today’s technology and what we’ve learned to date, we can bring new life to an ancient subject.” It’s old but never gets old. For instance, the findings gathered from excavations Sam has worked on have led to the realization that the concept of “nation states” and a sense of European identity actually began as far back as the Bronze Age.
What she got from NDP: “I was very lucky. I’ve always been interested in history, and NDP had a great history program,” Sam extolled. “It had no parallel. My teachers there were among the best I’ve ever had. I still quote them today. One of my favorites is, ‘the past and future are open playing fields.’ NDP instilled in us a real sense of intellectual discipline and, in turn, encouraged us to remain open and curious.”
Rules of the Road: “Do what you love, and you will succeed at it.”
NB: Reiter is currently employed by the Tales of Bronze Age Women Project at the Danish National Museum.