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Archaeology: October 2016 is Archaeology Month

RIC students in the field
Rhode Island College students investigate the site of an 18th-century Quaker meetinghouse in South Kingstown

Organized by the Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission, this program promotes Rhode Island’s rich archaeological heritage though a series of free public events led by the professional community. For more information about individual programs, contact the hosts listed below.

This list is organized by date. Click here for a pdf.

SATURDAY, October 1, 11:00 AM-4:00 PM
Block Island Archaeology Day
Visit Block Island for the day to learn about the archaeological heritage of the Manissee, the island’s original Native American residents. Based at the Block Island Historical Society, this event features lectures by archaeologists Joseph Waller of the Public Archaeology Laboratory, Inc. (11:00 AM) and Kevin McBride of the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center (1:00 PM), and includes a stone tool making demonstration by Rhode Island State Archaeologist Timothy Ives (2:30 PM). View a display by University of Connecticut archaeologist Dawn Beamer on southern Rhode Island’s cultural landscape, and enjoy a brand new exhibit on Block Island archaeology. This event is sponsored by the Block Island Historical Society, the Public Archaeology Laboratory, Inc., and the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center.
Location: Block Island Historical Society, 18 Old Town Road, Block Island (at the 4-way intersection in Old Harbor across from the Old Post Office Bagel Shop)
Contact: jwaller at palinc.com or 401-288-6311


SATURDAY, October 8, 11:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Remote Sensing at Fort Ninigret, Charlestown

Salve Regina University archaeologist Jon Marcoux will use remote sensing technology to examine the embankments outlining the former coastal stronghold of Ninigret, the famed seventeenth-century Niantic sachem. He will be joined by RIHPHC archaeologist Charlotte Taylor, who will discuss the site’s history and archaeology, as well as a staff member from the Tomaquag Museum, who will discuss the importance of Ninigret’s legacy to contemporary Native people. This event is sponsored by the Rhode Island Historical Preservation and Heritage Commission, the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, Salve Regina University, and the Tomaquag Museum.
Location: Fort Ninigret State Park, Charlestown (at the end of Fort Ninigret Road)
Contact: jon.marcoux at salve.edu


SATURDAY, October 15, 5:00 - 6:30 PM and 7:00 - 8:00 PM
The Archaeology of Children at the Rhode Island State Home and School
Rhode Island College professor Pierre Morenon will discuss the archaeology of children at the Rhode Island State Home and School, which housed dependent and neglected children from 1885-1979. His research provides nuanced and intimate glimpses of daily life in this state institution, which shaped generations of young Rhode Islanders. Join him for an outdoor walking tour of the former State Home property (5:00-6:30 PM) and/or attend his follow-up lecture and slideshow (7:00-8:00 PM). This event is sponsored by Rhode Island College.
Location: Yellow Cottage, Rhode Island College, Providence (Yellow Cottage is on the west side of Salisbury Drive, between the Forman Center and the Recreation Center)
Contact: 401-456-9724 or emorenon at ric.edu


SATURDAY, October 22, 11:00 AM - 3:00 PM (both programs)
Archaeology of College Hill Community Archaeology Day
Watch or join Brown undergraduates digging (yes, really digging). This year, students will be excavating at the nearby Moses Brown School. Stop by this family-friendly event any time between 11:00 AM and 3:00 PM to see what we're up to or try your hand at digging. All are welcome! This free event is sponsored by Moses Brown School and Brown University’s Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World.
Location: Moses Brown School, Providence (go to the corner of Hope St. and Lloyd Ave. where you’ll see us digging – wave to us and we’ll direct you around the fence to our site)
Contact: joukowsky_institute at brown.edu or (401) 863-3188

Joukowsky Institute Archaeology Open House: Archaeology in Action
Visit the Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World in Rhode Island Hall, on Brown University's Main Green. Faculty and students will provide tours and show you artifacts and images, both from some of our current fieldwork (in the Caribbean, Egypt, Italy, Jordan, Turkey, and Rhode Island) and from the Institute's collections.
Location: Joukowsky Institute for Arch., Rhode Island Hall (60 George St.), Brown Univ., Providence
Contact: joukowsky_institute at brown.edu or (401) 863-3188


WEDNESDAY, October 26, 5:30 - 7:00 PM
East Providence Cemetery Archaeological Investigation

From 1887 to the 1930s East Providence residents of all classes and backgrounds could purchase their own burial plots in the East Providence Cemetery. But after falling into a state of neglect, the property reverted to a non-cemetery status and the deceased were exhumed and reburied elsewhere. To ensure that the 1961 cemetery relocation work was thorough, the current property owner hired professional archaeologist Craig Chartier in 2013 to conduct an investigation. He found that work to have been incomplete, and reconstructed life histories and fascinating stories for each of the burials left behind. Hosted by Preserve Rhode Island and the Lippitt House Museum, this event will feature a Wine & Cheese reception (5:30-6:00 PM) followed by a lecture by Mr. Chartier (6:00-7:00 PM) about his investigation.
Location: Lippitt House Museum, 199 Hope Street, Providence
Contact: craig at plymoutharch.com or 401-728-8780


SATURDAY, October 29, 12:00 - 1:30 PM
A Geological Walking Tour of Paradise Valley

Explore the distinctive geology and historical landscape of Middletown’s Paradise Valley. This walking tour will be led by geologist and stone wall expert Robert Thorson, with the assistance of Rhode Island State Archaeologist Timothy Ives. This event is sponsored by the Norman Bird Sanctuary, the Preservation Society of Newport County, Whitehall, and St. Columba’s Chapel. Because space is limited, pre-registration is required.
Location: Norman Bird Sanctuary Welcome Center, 583 Third Beach Road, Middletown
Pre-registration contact: kryan2 at psnc.org or 401-487-1000 ext. 132


SUNDAY, October 30, 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM (rescheduled from 10/31)
Archaeology and History in Warwick: Native American and Early Settlement

When Samuel Gorton came to the western shores of Narragansett Bay in 1642, it was already home for thousands of Native Americans. The English settled amongst three Native villages and the two very different cultures lived side by side for more than thirty years. Please join archaeologist Alan Leveillee of the Public Archaeology Laboratory, Inc. as he shares some amazing stories about past and present history in Warwick. This event is sponsored by the Warwick Public Library and the Public Archaeology Laboratory, Inc.
Location: Warwick Public Library, Central Library, 600 Sandy Lane, Warwick
Contact: aleveillee at palinc.com or 401-288-6315