Fox Squirrel (Sciurus niger) from a Nineteenth Century Archaeological Site in New Jersey

There are no confirmed historic records of fox squirrel from New Jersey, although it is present in surrounding states. One subspecies, the Delmarva fox squirrel, was recently removed from the endangered species list after a concerted effort was made in Delaware and neighboring states to help it.

While fox squirrel bones are found in zooarchaeological assemblages in other states, there is, only prehistoric archaeological site in New Jersey where fox squirrel has been identified. In this article (with a 2012 date, but only recently published), the first  archaeological  record of fox squirrel bones from a nineteenth century archaeological  site in New Jersey is reported.

Sciurus niger maxilla

Post-Medieval Archaeology 50th Anniversary Issue is Free Online

The special commemorative 50th-anniversary issue of the journal Post-Medieval Archaeology is available free online for a limited time via Taylor & Francis:

Table of Contents:

Editorial: ‘The greatest of these is charity’; 50 years of Post-Medieval Archaeology Alasdair Brooks

A short history of the Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology Harold Mytum

The medieval to early modern transition in a digital age: new developments relevant to the study of domestic buildings David H. Caldwell & Catriona Cooper

Globalization and the spread of capitalism: material resonances Audrey Horning & Eric Schweickart

Cities in the modern world
Peter Davies & Greig Parker

The archaeology of industry; people and places Marilyn Palmer & Hilary Orange

The post-medieval rural landscape: towards a landscape archaeology?
Jemma Bezant & Kevin Grant

The material culture of the modern world Mary C. Beaudry & Natascha Mehler

Standing buildings and built heritage
Adrian Green & James Dixon

Where the battle rages: war and conflict in Post-Medieval Archaeology Natasha N. Ferguson & Douglas Scott

The contemporary in post-medieval archaeology Laura McAtackney & Sefryn Penrose

The archaeology of post-medieval death and burial Layla Renshaw & Natasha Powers

Obituary: Lawrence Butler (1934 – 2014)
Harold Mytum

Archaeology Site Reports from the Charleston Museum, South Carolina

All of the archaeological site reports produced by the Charleston Museum since 1975 are now available for free download. 

Charleston Museum Archaeology Reports 

From the official press release:

The Charleston Museum is pleased to announce that archaeological site reports, produced by its Archaeology Department, are now available online. Comprising 56 reports, the bulk of which were prepared by Curator of Historical Archaeology Martha Zierden, they cover a variety of Lowcountry projects, including urban, plantation and military sites.

The publication of a site report is the final phase of any archaeological project and contains all of the details of a project, from site history and fieldwork discoveries to enumeration of recovered artifacts. Many reports also include detailed assessments from specialists, who analyzed animal bone, examined soil samples for pollen or parasites, or focused on particular artifact types.

The Museum, which has sponsored a program in historical archaeological research in the Lowcountry since the 1970s, is excited to be able to make this information available to the public, thanks to a recent website upgrade and the efforts of several staff members. Curator of Historical Archaeology Martha Zierden notes “because of their limited production and distribution, site reports are often hard to find. Now decades of research from the Museum are available to everyone.” Director Carl Borick added that these reports “are an invaluable window into the Charleston area’s past, and an excellent example of the dedicated research efforts of Martha Zierden, Ron Anthony, and other staff members, who have made a critical contribution to the Museum’s mission.”

Vanity, thy name is Charlotte

The MSU Campus Archaeology site has a new post by Katy Meyers Emery about a Frozen Charlotte doll found in one of their digs.

The name comes from a poem, and later a song, about a young woman who, not wanting to cover up her pretty dress, refused to dress warmly for a long sleigh ride with her beau. When they arrived at the party, he discovered, to his horror, that Charlotte had frozen to death.

The small, inexpensive dolls do not have moving limbs – i.e., they look frozen. They were quite common in the mid to late 1800s, and may also have been easily lost or broken,  as they turn up  not infrequently on historical archaeological sites.

The photos below show some of the Charlottes  (as well as other toys and trinkets) excavated from house sites in a former late nineteenth century working class neighborhood in Jersey City, New Jersey.

  Images from:

Howson, Jean, and Leonard G. Bianchi

2014 Covert-Larch: Archaeology of a Jersey City Neighborhood. Data Recovery for the Route 1&9T (25) St. Paul’s Viaduct Replacement Project Jersey City, Hudson County, NJ. Cultural Resource Unit, The RBA Group, Inc.

The original post is at MSU Campus Archaeology

 

“Almost any collection is a good collection”

Making use of museum-based collections — even, or especially, from sites excavated nearly one hundred years ago — is essential to regional research. Julia A. King writes about collections-based research in the first of a series of posts on collections and curation at the SHA’s website. King’s insight comes from her work on the “Colonial Encounters: The Lower Potomac Valley at Contact, 1500-1720” project, which synthesized data from over 30 archaeological sites in Maryland and Virginia.
One unsurprising conclusion: “Perhaps the most troubling issue we observed is a disciplinary mindset (for want of a better phrase) which continues to foster the never-ending field season, resulting in un-cataloged or under-cataloged collections along with no site report.”

Read it at SHA.org

World War I Archaeology and More: Open Access Articles

For the 100th anniversary of the start of the Great War, Maney Publishing has made available for free download 100 scholarly articles dealing with World War I, including several on battlefield archaeology. The articles will be available to download, with no sign in necessary, through August 2014 at their website:

www.maneyonline.com/ww1
A sample of the articles available:
The Spanish Lady Comes to London: the Influenza Pandemic 1918-1919
Andrea Tanner, The London Journal
Academic Freedom Versus Loyalty at Columbia University During World War I: A Case Study
Charles F Howlett, War & Society
‘An Infinity of Personal Sacrifice’: The Scale and Nature of Charitable Work in Britain during the First World War
Peter Grant, War & Society
They don’t like it up ’em!: Bayonet fetishization in the British Army during the First World War
Paul Hodges, Journal of War & Culture Studies
Naming the unknown of Fromelles: DNA profiling, ethics and the identification of First World War bodies
J L Scully and R Woodward, Journal of War & Culture Studies
‘Those Who Survived the Battlefields’ Archaeological Investigations in a Prisoner of War Camp Near Quedlinburg (Harz / Germany) from the First World War
Volker Demuth, Journal of Conflict Archaeology
Not so Quiet on the Western Front: Progress and Prospect in the Archaeology of the First World War
Tony Pollard and Iain Banks, Journal of Conflict Archaeology
Archaeology of a Great War Dugout: Beecham Farm, Passchendaele, Belgium
P Doyle, P Barton and J Vandewalle, Journal of Conflict Archaeology
Excavating Under Gunfire: Archaeologists in the Aegean During the First World War
David W J Gill, Public Archaeology
Remembering War, Resisting Myth: Veteran Autobiographies and the Great War in the Twenty-first Century
Vincent Andrew Trott, Journal of War & Culture Studies

Northeast Historical Archaeology Open Access Articles

CNEHA, the Council for Northeast Historical Archaeology, has recently made most articles in their journal, Northeast Historical Archaeology, freely available. The most recent articles (2010 and newer) are still restricted to members, but that leaves almost forty years of articles available for download.
From the first issue, you can read Dick Pin Hsu’s “The Joys of Urban Archaeology” on the excavation of the Revolutionary War period Fort Stanwix in New York. There’s also Rebecca Yamin’s early article on Raritan Landing in New Jersey  and a personal favorite, a guide to agricultural drainage systems by Sherene Baugher, from which the following figure is taken.Baugher drainage

 

 

“Fountain of Youth” Site Artifacts to be Curated by U. Florida

Shell tools from Spanish St. Augustine, Florida

Artifacts from the early Spanish site in St. Augustine, Florida (associated with Pedro Menendez de Aviles, not Ponce de Leon) are being donated to the Florida Museum of Natural History at the University of Florida.  U. Florida archaeologists have been excavating the site, and storing the artifacts, for many years, so it appears this will make the curatorial arrangement permanent, and perhaps provide a tax break for the owners of the site.

Article in the Gainesville Sun.