Student Dies in Hiking Accident

Grad student Stine Rossel was killed this weekend by a rolling log

A 32-year-old anthropology graduate student died Saturday in a hiking accident in New Hampshire.

Stine Rossel suffered a fatal head injury when a log gave way and slid downhill, rolling over Rossel and her husband.

Her husband, Brian M. Wood, who is a graduate student in biological anthropology, was not seriously hurt.

Rossel was in her eighth year at Harvard. She recently completed her dissertation on the animal exploitation practices of two different communities in the Nile Valley, analyzing animal bones from two archaeological sites.

“She was always very excited to see the day’s finds, and ran out every day to greet the donkey cart when it came in from the site,” said University of Pennsylvania professor Josef W. Wegner, who conducted research with Rossel in Egypt.

“It was wonderful to have such a sparkling personality out in the Egyptian desert,” he said.

Rossel, who is a Danish citizen, had also conducted field research in Syria, Turkey, and Sudan, said one of her advisers at Harvard, Richard H. Meadow ’68.

Rossel came to Harvard after receiving her bachelor’s degree from the University of Copenhagen in 1999. She earned a master’s in anthropology in 2002 and would have graduated this November.

She met Wood while at Harvard, and the two were married last summer, according to fellow archaeology graduate student Parker Van Valkenburgh. Rossel had flown to the United States to visit Wood a few days before the accident occurred, Van Valkenburgh said.

Rossel had a post-doctoral position at the University of Copenhagen.

Rudenstine Professor of the Study of Latin America David Carrasco called her a “deeply valued member” of the Anthropology Department’s archaeology wing, mentioning her “bright humor.”

“Our community of learners is stricken and we are struggling together to make sense of this,” Carrasco wrote in an e-mailed statement.

—Material from The Associated Press was used in the reporting of this story.

—Stephanie S. Garlow contributed to the reporting of this story.

—Staff writer Nan Ni can be reached at