The Underwater Archaeologist

Marc Primelo ’17

As a kid, Marc Primelo ’17 (music, archaeology) dreamed of becoming a Navy Seal. Today, he envisions an aquatic profession of a very different sort—a career in underwater archaeology. Marc discusses his fieldwork in at a Grecian dig site and more.


Archaeology and music

Clubs and organizations:  

Infernos a cappella group, College Choir, Dickinson College Safety Shuttle, College Residence Life & Housing, WDCV-FM and Tunnel Snakes.


2016-17 Emil R. and Tamar Weiss Prize in the Creative Arts [awarded annually to a student who produces a major artistic work during his or her senior year].  

Favorite book: 

The Complete Chronicles of Conan by Robert E. Howard.

Favorite movie: 

Muppet Treasure Island.

On choosing Dickinson:

Dickinson's programs fit everything I wanted in my undergraduate experience. 

Favorite place on campus: 

The Morgan Field plateau.

Favorite Dining Hall food: 

Flatiron steak.

On choosing a major:

I've always been interested in history and research, so archaeology appealed to me. Music is a passion of mine, and I couldn't pass up on the amazing staff and opportunities available through Dickinson's music department. 

Favorite learning experience:

Participating in the fieldwork at Mycenae with [Associate] Professor [of Archaeology; Christopher Roberts Chair in Archaeology Christofilis] Maggidis and my peers. It was my favorite experience through Dickinson thus far.  

Most important thing I’ve learned so far:

Every task is fruitful if done well.  

Little-known hobby/talent:

I study the West African griot music traditions, and play the kora (mandinka harp).

Post-Dickinson plans:

I hope to begin working as an underwater archaeologist, likely in Eastern Europe, with hopes of contributing meaningful research to the scientific community.

As a kid, I wanted to be …

… a Navy Seal.

Proudest accomplishment so far:

Player's Player Sportsmanship Award, from my high school swim team.

If I could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, it would be …

… Genghis Khan.

Biggest influence:

The FQ think-tank group. They have taught me so much about how to live a complete life, and I am proud to be among their ranks. 

In a perfect world …

… strength would be unnecessary.

Current hobby:

I am attempting to recreate the epigonion harp.  Ancient music has always been a field of interest for me; it fascinates me how much context-specific aspects of a culture can reveal about that people and that time. 

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Published October 12, 2016