Friday Links: What’s happened in Historical Archaeology

This week’s photo of the month was provided by Mark Kostro of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. For ten weeks this summer, students enrolled in the annual Colonial Williamsburg / College of William and Mary field school in historical archaeology searched for evidence of the 18th-century Bray School, an institution dedicated to the education of free and enslaved African American children.  Between 1760 and 1765, the Bray School was housed within a wood frame dwelling house (a.k.a. Dudley Digges House) located two short blocks north of campus.  Probably constructed in the mid-eighteenth century, the Digges House survived, although substantially altered, at this location until 1930 when it was moved to make way for the construction of a new residence hall.  Among this summer’s discoveries was an eighteenth-century brick-lined well, a late eighteenth-century earthfast building located in what would have been the rear yard of the Digges House, and numerous artifacts not only from the Bray School period, but also from the various occupants of the lot before and after the Bray School was located there.  Co-directing the archaeological fieldwork is Mark Kostro of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and Dr. Neil Norman of the College of William and Mary.  The Bray School Archaeological Project is one of the topics being investigated by the Lemon Project, an ongoing scholarly initiative at William & Mary focused on the 300-year relationship between African Americans and the College.

You can learn more about the excavations and see additional photographs at the Colonial Williamsburg Archaeology Facebook page.

Also, we are pleased to announce that Poplar Forest has launched a social media campaign: you can now read their new blog, become a fan of their Facebook Page, and follow them on Twitter!

This Week’s Links

The SHA lost one of our finest leaders: Roderick Sprague passed away this week. Dr. Sprague served as president of our society for two terms, in addition to winning the J.C. Harrington Medial in 1996 and the Carol Ruppe Service Award in 2004.

Paul Mullins, on his blog Archaeology and Material Culture, discusses the archaeology and politics of Ruin Porn.

The South Central Historical Archaeology Conference has a call for papers out for their conference at the University of South Alabama.

Bernard Means writes up a review of the THATCamp in Computational Archaeology that was held a few weeks ago at the University of Virginia.

Craig Lukezic writes a post about the search for Delaware’s 17th Century Fort Casimir.

Read this piece by George Miller and Robert Hunter at “How Creamware Got the Blues: The Origins of China Glaze and Pearlware”

Archaeologists at William and Mary Center for Archaeological Research have found Civil War encampments on the college’s property.

Do you have any links that you’d like us to share? Please send them are way by posting them on our Facebook wall or mentioning @SHA_Org in a tweet!

Friday Links and Photo of the Day!

This week’s photo is of a young visitor to George Washington’s Ferry Farm on July 4, 2012, gazing into the Small Finds Laboratory as lasers play across an historic artifact, recording attributes that will enable a digital three-dimensional (3D) model of the object to be created. The Scanning project is part of the Virtual Curation Laboratory at Virginia Commonwealth University, directed by Bernard Means. Using this technology, researchers across the world will be able to manipulate, rotate, and measure the 3D digital model from the safety (and comfort!) of their own labs or offices. The 3D digital model will also be used to enhance web content and will be incorporated into computer tablet tours of Ferry Farm.  More information on the 3D scanning project can be found at:  Details of Ferry Farm and the archaeological investigations at George Washington’s Boyhood Home are available at: You can also read a post that Dr. Means wrote for the SHA Blog about 3D Digital Curation here.

Some Links

Excavations are underway at William and Mary in search of the Bray School.

A courthouse in Stafford, Virginia has been located.

The Maryland Archaeological Conservation (MAC) Laboratory at Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum announces the Gloria S. King Research Fellowship in Archaeology.

A blog post by the Northeast Museum Service Center about Scratch Blue Ceramic decoration.

A blog update from Fort St. Joseph in Niles, Michigan.

Friday Links: What’s Been Happening in Historical Archaeology

This week’s photo comes from a field project at Gore Place in Waltham, Massachusetts, the National Historic Landmark estate of Massachusetts Governor Christopher Gore. The project is run by the Fiske Center at UMass Boston as a field school, in partnership with the Gore Place Society. Currently, archaeologists and students are working on the grounds surrounding Gore’s standing 1806 mansion. Previous excavations have uncovered a 19th-century greenhouse, and this summer’s excavations will continue examining that area. The project is co-directed by Drs. David Landon and Christa Beranek, and you can follow their progress at their blog or on their Facebook page!

As always, this photo will be featured on our own Facebook Page as our banner image for the week!


A look at the archaeological work at New Philadelphia, and the movement towards being a National Park Historic Site.

Colonial Williamsburg and the College of William and Mary are working together to examine an early black school in Williamsburg, VA.


The 2012 Joint Australasian Society for Historical Archaeology/ustralasian Institute for Maritime Archaeology Conference call for papers deadline is June 30th.

The Archaeology Channel International Film and Video Festival is looking for entries for their May 2013 event.

The Blogosphere

Don’t forget to sign up for Day of Archaeology, which will be on June 29th! A great opportunity to showcase your work, and engage the public about our discipline.

Bernard Means of Virginia Commonwealth University takes his 3D scanner into the field at George Washington’s Family Farm. Read more from the same excavations by VCU undergrad Ashley McCuistion. Read from her perspective as a field school student!

Jamie Brandon has posted a wonderful series of photos on Flickr of the 2012 Arkansas Archaeological Society Dig in Historic Washington, Arkansas.

Read a wonderful post by John Lowe about a Juneteenth find….on Juneteenth.

Excavations in the Alley have begun in Philadelphia! See what they’ve found.