Creighton offers more than just a Jesuit education. Our numerous research opportunities allow students at any stage in their education to pursue big ideas and make discoveries that can change the world. Maybe that’s why we’re one of the top Midwest universities.
At Creighton, your research is meaningful. You’ll work side by side with faculty members throughout the research process. This collaborative environment makes Creighton different from other universities and gives you a competitive advantage for the next stage of your education or career. We’re here to support your undergraduate research.
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Piecing Together an Ancient Mystery
Over the last year, three Creighton University undergraduates have been on a missing persons case of a sort.
The mystery for Joseph Baronovic, Sarah Copeland and Ashley Weed (at left) begins in the hallways of Omaha’s Joslyn Art Museum. There, the trio encountered the stone-sculptured head of a young child, a rarity in the field of Roman artwork.
With the blessings and oversight of the Joslyn Registrar Kay Johnson, Baronovic, Copeland and Weed began a comprehensive study of the sculpture. What they discovered was a young boy trying to tell an intriguing story. Based on similar sculpture portraits of the time, the youth bears a striking resemblance to Tiberius Gemellus, the grandson of Emperor Tiberius, the Roman Empire’s supreme leader at the time of the birth of Christ.
“In the Julio-Claudian period, there’s an emphasis on youth and a hearkening back to the Golden Age in Greece,” Weed said. “We’d seen other portraits of Tiberius’ grandson and this one just started to look a lot like that to us. The literature, the style, it just seems to match.”
The sculpture head was the second artifact the group had researched. The first from the Joslyn vaults turned out to be a pastiche — a sculpture portrait culled from ancient pieces but assembled much later for sale on the art market.
“We saw that the head was not an ancient stone,” Weed said. “Too shiny. Something that could not have been fabricated in ancient times. Cracks in putty that were binding different pieces together. There were just too many things that pointed to this being a pastiche.”
Presenting their Findings
Baronovic, Copeland and Weed presented a talk on their findings at Creighton’s Undergraduate Research and Scholarship Fair earlier this year and are also readying more information for a CU @ Joslyn talk in spring of 2015, followed by what they hope is an unveiling of the piece for public viewing.
Johnson, who helps facilitate the program for Joslyn, said having the student assistance has been a welcome partnership.
“One of the goals of the museum is not just to display artwork, but to do the research on it,” Johnson said. “When it comes to our collection, we don’t just want things sitting on a shelf. We want the information behind it that may make it interesting to the public. That’s what this partnership has done.”