Meet Anastasia Temkina – An Enthusiast of Anthropology and All Things Ancient

The Scholarly Path of a Russian Immigrant

Pictured: Anastasia Temkina at the 2019 Harriet Elliot Lecture Series – Poster Panel.


The field of archeology is very broad, and an often-rare profession to enter. However, Anastasia Temkina, a Russian girl from a northern city in Russia called Arkhangelsk, decided to pursue it anyways. She fell in love with the English language and the ancient world so much so, that she came to America and earned a bachelor’s degree at the University of North Carolina in Greensboro in Archaeology and Anthropology, with a minor in Classical Studies. She is now on her way to a master’s degree at the University of South Florida, to gain a MA in Anthropology. 


During her time in undergrad, she was the VP of the Classical Society, which was focused on Greek and Roman history. She helped organize events, such as their annual Murder Mystery party. Alongside this club, she also was president of the Archaeological Society, which she revived. They planned trips to archeological museums in the area, as well as trips to the Town Creek Indian Mound. While being a full-time student, she worked part-time in the campus library in the special collections and university archives section her sophomore year. In her junior year, she worked as a student assistant in a 3D paleo imaging lab in the anthropology department. There, she helped create models of skeletal remains of extinct animals and creating 3D print outs


   Pictured: Anastasia Temkina at the 3D Paleo Imaging Lab with one of her 3D scans of a lemur cranium.


In her first year of her master’s program, she also worked as a community liaison in the Anthropology Graduate Student Organization, who helped connect the GSO with anthropology organizations outside of campus. Currently, she is working in the same organization as their treasurer. 


Anastasia is in her last year of her degree and plans on graduating in May 2021. She is currently applying to PhD programs to continue her education. Being interested in bioarcheology, which is the study of the human past through skeletal remains, she already knows what she wants to focus her dissertation on. She is very interested specifically in the plague and wants to dedicate her dissertation to identifying the Yersinia pestis, a plague-causing bacterium, in the archaeological record. Recently there has been new methods of identifying the plague, and that subject is very interesting to her, as well as looking at disease management in the past and seeing how we can learn from it. In a time of a new epidemic of COVID-19, this subject is especially important, as we can learn from historical methods and mistakes. 


                                          Pictured: Anastasia Temkina preparing lab samples.


After her PhD, she plans on continuing her work in academia and plans on becoming a professor. The ideal scenario would be for her to do her own research in the summer, and then teach archaeology students during the academic year. She has a passion for history, and for the ancient world, and wants to pass the knowledge that she has gained to other eager students. For her, coming to the United States has been a great opportunity to study the subject she loves, and to get the education that is needed for an archaeologist. 


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