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 Winter 2003 News Minimize



New York and St. Louis Corps Partner on African Burial Ground Project
The New York and St. Louis District Corps of Engineers were key players on the African Burial Ground Project, one of the General Services Administration’s (GSA) priority projects. In 1991, GSA’s Northeast & Caribbean Region headquarters in New York City began excavating for a proposed new federal government building in Lower Manhattan, between Broadway and Duane Streets. It was during the excavation that an 18th-century African burial ground was unearthed.

GSA hired archaeologists to investigate the find. They exhumed over 400 adult and child skeletal remains in partially decayed wooden coffins with scores of artifacts, including coins, shells and beads. The human remains were found wearing shrouds fastened with brass straight pins and jewelry. The coffins were closely stacked in layers, going down as deep as 23-feet below street level. To read the full story of this exciting project, click here.

Archaeology Project Aids Academic Success of Minority Students
Martin University is the only predominately African American institution of higher learning in Indiana. Located in Indianapolis, the University’s mission is to serve the poor and minority communities. The primary goal of the Next Step Education through Archaeology Project (NSEAP) is to help insure success in college for low-income and minority high school students. The 2004 field season will be the sixth year for the Project. Several Project assessments over the last five years have documented that NSEAP students have experienced improved academic performance in their respective schools. The Project’s core activity is a six-week summer field school for 20 high school students investigating historic and prehistoric occupations at Fort Harrison State Park, located within Indianapolis. Each student is required to produce an individualized mentored research paper, and the annual site report is built upon the students’ research work. For further information regarding this program, contact Harry Murphy at hmurphy@martin.edu or 317-917-3305.

Retirees Reached by Digging into Iowa’s Past
The Marshalltown, Iowa, Community College sponsored a four-week archaeology class this fall, entitled Digging into Iowa’s Past, as part of its Creative Retirement series. Taught by Lynn M. Alex, Director of Education and Outreach at the Office of the State Archaeologist, University of Iowa, the course presented archaeologists as history detectives attempting to unravel the mysteries of Iowa’s first corn farmers, steamboat wrecks along the Missouri River, and giant bird mounds. Addressing the many artifact collectors throughout the state, lectures touched upon site recording and artifact curation. Marshalltown is home to the Marshalltown Trowel Company. For more information, contact Lynn Alex, Public Archaeology Coordinator, Office of the State Archaeologist, at 319-38... or email lynn-alex@uiowa.edu.

Work to Continue at Strawtown Koteewi Park, Indiana

The Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne Archaeological Survey (IPFW-AS) plans to continue its multi-year program of research and public education at the Strawtown Koteewi Park in Hamilton County, Indiana. The 750-acre park, which contains at least three major Late Prehistoric village sites, is being developed to include laboratory space, curation facilities, a museum, and a reconstructed village. In years past, research and education efforts have been conducted jointly with the Hamilton County Parks and Recreation Department and funded by grants from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology. Over 1,500 school children visited the excavations in 2003. Research planned for 2004 includes geophysical survey and excavations to recover data about Late Prehistoric habitation structures and community plans at the Strawtown Enclosure and Castor Farm sites. Further information can be found at the IPFW-AS web site, www.ipfw.edu/archsurv/home.html, or contact Andrew White, IPFW Archaeological Survey, at 260-481-6194.

Iowa OSU Develops Archaeology Resources Management Plan and Education Program

The Hardin County Historic Preservation Commission recently received a grant from the Johanna Favrot Fund of the National Trust for Historic Preservation to develop a management plan for public lands and an education program for private landowners. Hardin County in central Iowa has a wealth of recorded archaeological sites associated with the Iowa River Greenbelt. The Office of the State Archaeologist (OSA), University of Iowa, will prepare the management document which is expected to provide guidelines for cultural resources on state and county lands. The education program, also being drafted by OSA, will include information for landowners on the area’s prehistory, guidelines for site recording and collections’ documentation, curricular resources for K-12 schools, and conservation options for privately-owned sites. The project intends to foster cultural heritage recognition and stewardship, and aspires to be a model for other counties in Iowa. For more information, contact Lynn Alex, Public Archaeology Coordinator, Office of the State Archaeologist, at 319-38... or email  lynn-alex@uiowa.edu.

Indiana County Parks Receives Preservation Award
At the recent annual state historic preservation conference for Indiana, the Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology presented its annual awards in preservation and archaeology. This year’s Indiana Archaeology Award was presented to Hamilton County Parks and Recreation Department and Superintendent Allen Patterson. The award was given in recognition of the preservation and interpretation of the archaeological sites on park properties. The Parks Department and Superintendent Patterson have taken measures not only to protect and interpret archaeological resources in the park, but to acquire properties with sites and to conduct research and compliance archaeology to locate, evaluate, and recover information and to preserve the unique and irreplaceable resources. For more information, contact Amy Johnson at AJohnson@dnr.state.in.us.

Call for Nominations for Award for Excellence in Public Education
The Society for American Archaeology confers the Excellence in Public Education Award to recognize outstanding contributions by individuals or institutions in the sharing of archaeological knowledge with the public. SAA gives this award annually following a 3-year cycle of categories: archaeologist, educator, and institution. In 2004, eligible candidates will be educators who have contributed substantially to public education about archaeology through the development or presentation of educational programs, publishing, or the distribution of educational materials and other activities. An educator is an individual involved in education who is not a professional archaeologist, who writes, speaks, or otherwise presents information to the public or facilitates institutions and other individuals in their public education efforts. These individuals may include pre-collegiate educators, administrators, heritage interpreters, museum educators, and others. Candidates will be evaluated on the basis of their public impact, creativity in programming, leadership role, and promotion of archaeological ethics. The nominee does not need to be an SAA member.

Nominators will work with the Chair to assemble a nomination file that will include:

  • A formal letter of nomination that identifies the nominee and summarizes their accomplishments. These accomplishments should be contextualized by addressing the following types of questions: Where does the nominee’s work fit within public education? What is the extent of the nominee’s work and impact on the field of archaeology? On students? On the general public? On other disciplines?
  • Supporting materials should demonstrate (not merely assert) the nominee’s qualifications and actions. In other words, supporting materials should not be expected to stand on their own but should demonstrate the case being made in the nomination letter. Examples of supporting evidence might document the impact of a specific program in terms of the numbers of the public involved, personnel qualifications and deployment, the frequency of programs offered, formal evaluation results, and feedback from the audience. Secondary nominator letters are welcomed as well.
  • Prior nomination does not exclude consideration of a nominee in subsequent years. Self nominations are accepted.

Deadline for nomination: January 5, 2004. The Chair of the committee will work closely with nominators in supplying the above items for completing a nomination file. Nominators are encouraged to contact the Chair by November 1 to begin this process. For further information or to submit a nomination, contact Patrice Jeppson at 215... or email pjeppson@kern.com.


Georgia Publishes Guide to Cemetery Preservation
The Historic Preservation Division of Georgia DNR and the Historic Chattahoochee Commission are pleased to announce the publication of their co-sponsored book on historic cemetery preservation, Grave Intentions: A Comprehensive Guide to Cemetery Preservation in Georgia by Christine Van Voorhies.

This easy-to-read comprehensive guide offers valuable advice, such as how to plan cemetery cleanups, record and care for grave markers, and protect against threats. Also included is a review of Georgia cemetery laws and sources of further information. Spiral-bound paperback, 106 pages with photos and illustrations, it sells for $12.95 plus shipping. All proceeds will go back into cemetery and preservation projects. The book can be ordered on-line at www.hcc-al-ga.org or call toll-free 877....

AltaMira Publishes Cartoon Archeology Book

Appropriate for introducing archaeology to the beginning student or the general reader, Archaeology: The Comic by Johannes H.N. Loubser covers all of the major topics in archaeology—through cartooning. It’s written and illustrated by a professional archaeologist. The story follows a young girl named Squizee who learns about archaeology after pot hunters are discovered on her family’s farm. A good introduction to archaeology for teachers or the general public, the publication is comprehensive enough to be used as a text. For more information, contact customer service at custserv@rowman.com or 800-462-6420.

Working in Alaskan caves, under the sea in British Columbia, and on offshore islands from Alaska to California, researchers applied new technologies of mapping the sea bottom, dating artifacts and stones, and analyzing the chemistry of human bones. Their results show that maritime people living on sea mammals, fish and shellfish more likely skirted the North Pacific rim by boat, using as stepping-stones a food-rich offshore network of ice-free refuges, probably 14,000 to 15,000 years ago. This book is a lively narrative that captures the adventure of doing science in such remote and exotic locales. It interweaves the scientific findings and fiercely fought controversies with Koppel’s own experiences and observations. Available from Atria Books for $26.00. For more information, check the web site at www.www.SimonSays.com.

Resources Available from SAA
The Society for American Archaeology (SAA) has produced a variety of educational resources that are available to help students, teachers, and the general public learn more about archaeology. Most of these resources are available free from the Society’s web site (see  www.saa.org/pubedu/eduMat.html for a complete list). In addition to the web materials, the SAA offers brochures on careers and volunteer opportunities in archaeology, as well as publications for sale, such as History Beneath the Sea: Nautical Archaeology in the Classroom.

The SAA Manager, Education and Outreach, is another resource to consider when looking for information. The Manager is available to answer questions by email, snail mail, or phone, and has access to information about archaeology education resources from many sources. If you are having trouble finding appropriate resources for your classroom or for an outreach activity, the SAA office may be able to help, or find someone who can. For more information, contact Maureen Malloy, Manager, Education and Outreach, Society for American Archaeology, 900 Second Street NE, Suite 12, Washington, DC 20002-3557, phone: 202..., or email: maureen_malloy@saa.org.