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Archaeology: October 2017 is Archaeology Month

archaeology month
Archaeologist Jon Marcoux demonstrating remote sensing technolocy in Charlestown at a 2016 Archaeology Month event

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 7, 4-6:30pm and 7-10pm
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 and historic Chapin Mansion (4:00-6:30 PM) and/or attend his follow-up lecture and slideshow (7:00-10:00 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: emorenon at ric.edu or 401-456-9724


WEDNESDAY, October 11, 7pm
Digging the Past: Why Archaeology Matters

“Archaeology” conjures up images of thrilling discoveries from ancient Egypt or Rome. Yet, is archaeology more than an esoteric pursuit of the past? University of Rhode Island professors, Kris Bovy (Anthropology) and Bridget Buxton (History), will discuss compelling examples for why archaeological investigation can be relevant to our own lives today. Case studies will be drawn from their own research and beyond, include both local and global examples, and cover a wide range of contemporary issues, including social inequality, environmental sustainability, wildlife management, forensics, and health.
Location: Washburn Hall Room 111, University of Rhode Island, Kingston (free parking is available across the street in the temporary Visitor Center lot on Upper Campus Rd.)
Contact: kbovy at uri.edu


SATURDAY, October 14, 11am - 2pm
Archaeology of College Hill Community Archaeology Day
Watch or join Brown undergraduates digging (yes, really digging!). This year, as part of ongoing work on Brown's campus and in the surrounding neighborhoods of College Hill, students will be excavating at the nearby Moses Brown School. Stop by this family-friendly event any time between 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM to see what we're up to or try your hand at excavating. 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

SATURDAY, October 14, 11am - 2pm
Joukowsky Institute Archaeology Open House: Archaeology in Action

At the Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World on Brown University's Main Green, faculty and students will show you artifacts including coins, precious metals, ceramics, and other artifacts. Tour one of the oldest buildings on campus, and talk with Brown’s archaeologists about their fieldwork all over the world.
Location: Joukowsky Institute for Arch., Rhode Island Hall (60 George St.), Brown Univ., Providence
Contact: joukowsky_institute at brown.edu or (401) 863-3188


SUNDAY, October 15, 2 – 3pm
Artifacts of Warwick: Native American and Early Settlement

For archaeologists, every artifact has a story. You’re invited to join professional archaeologist Alan Leveillee to explore history through Native American and EuroAmerican material culture – from stone tools to buttons and bottles. This will be a hands-on event and we encourage you to bring an artifact or two (Antiques Roadshow style). Come check out artifacts from archaeological sites in Warwick and let’s see what time travel secrets your treasures may hold. 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


SATURDAY, October 21, 1-3pm
Ground-Penetrating Radar Demonstration & Gravestone Iconography

Technological advances, including ground-penetrating radar, are enabling archaeologists to study important sites without disturbing the ground. Join Salve Regina’s Assistant Professor Dr. Jon Marcoux at South Kingstown’s Tower Hill Cemetery (SE corner of Rt.1 and Torrey Rd.) for a live demonstration. South County History Center representatives will also be on hand to discuss the cemetery’s headstones and Tower Hill’s history. The demonstration will take place from 1-3 PM, and attendees can visit the site any time therein. In case of inclement weather, the demonstration will be postponed until Sunday, October 22, from 1-3 PM. For event updates, visit SouthCountyHistoryCenter.org or Facebook.com/SouthCountyHistoryCenter. This event is organized by the South County History Center in partnership with Kingston Congregational Church, with funding support from the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities.
Location: parking available at All Outdoors, 4060 Tower Hill Rd., South Kingstown

Contact: erica at southcountyhistorycenter.org


TUESDAY, October 24, 6:30pm
What Lies Beneath: A Look Below Rhode Island’s Historical Burial Grounds

Joseph (Jay) N. Waller, Jr., Senior Archaeologist at The Public Archaeology Laboratory, will discuss the unseen world lying beneath the slate and marble gravestones of our historic burying places. Drawing from archaeological projects in Rhode Island, he will discuss 19th century burial practices and provide examples of common artifacts recovered from historic graves. He also will highlight a recent project in which archaeologists, with private landowner support, identified and relocated internments from a formerly ‘lost’ historic burial ground. This event is organized by the South County History Center in partnership with Kingston Free Library, with funding support from the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities.
Location: Kingston Free Library’s Potter Hall, 2605 Kingstown Road, Kingston
Contact: erica at southcountyhistorycenter.org


WEDNESDAY, October 25, 7-8pm
Shipwrecks of the Ocean State
Come to the Old State House in Providence for an evening of maritime misfortune! Rhode Island has more shipwrecks per square mile than any other state, and archaeologist Charlotte Taylor will share images and stories of choice disasters at sea from the last three hundred years. Her new book, Rhode Island Shipwrecks (Images of America) will be available for purchase. This event is sponsored by the Rhode Island Historical Preservation and Heritage Commission.
Location: Old State House, 150 Benefit Street, Providence
Contact: charlotte.taylor at preservation.ri.gov


SATURDAY, October 28, 12-3pm
Speak to an Archaeologist: Learn More About Local Archaeology and Bring Your Questions

Gray & Pape professional archaeologists and Scituate Preservation Society members Nathan Scholl and Kimberly Smith invite you to learn about what archaeology is and what archaeologists do in New England. Listen to their stories, and bring your own questions and stories to share about local history. Time permitting, the archaeologists will help identify Native American and early colonial artifacts that you may happen to own (limit – 2 per person). Anyone curious about the past is welcome to this family-friendly event.
Location: Scituate Preservation Society Grange Hall, 706 Hartford Pike, North Scituate.
Contact: ksmith at graypape.com or (717) 515-8994