Free Books from the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology

Several archaeology books from the backlist at the Cotsen Institute at UCLA are available for free download:

An Archaeologist’s Guide to Chert and Flint – Luedtke 1992

The South American Camelids: An Expanded and Corrected Edition – Bonavio 2009

Maya Zooarchaeology: New Directions in Method and Theory – Emery 2004

A Conservation Manual for the Field Archaeologist – Sease 1994

About 20 more titles on Greek, Mesoamerican, and California archaeology are available from the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology Press.

Medieval Arms at the Cleveland Art Museum

The Cleveland Museum of Art has just made over 30,000 images from their collections available for reuse under a creative commons zero license. Here’s a few examples of Medieval arms in their Armor Court.


Crossbow of Elector Augustus I of Saxony, c. 1553-1573. Source: Cleveland Museum of Art, Creative Commons CC0 1.0
Battle Axe, 1400s. Source: Cleveland Museum of Art, Creative Commons CC0 1.0

Left-Handed Dagger or “Main Gauche” c. 1650. Source: Cleveland Museum of Art, Creative Commons CC0 1.0

Irish Folklore Collected by Schoolchildren in the 1930s

 

“Crom Dubh” Head in Churchyard, Clochán, Cloghane, Co. Kerry. Photo by Caoimhín Ó Danachair. F025.18.00338. www.duchas.ie. CC-BY-NC 4.0

In the 1930s, schoolchildren in Ireland set out to write down local folklore, history, and mythology, like the story of Crom Dubh.  Ireland’s National Folklore Collection has now put a massive collection of these Irish folktales and oral history online.

Approximately 740,000 pages (288,000 pages in the pupils’ original exercise books; 451,000 pages in bound volumes) of folklore and local tradition were compiled by pupils from 5,000 primary schools in the Irish Free State between 1937 and 1939.
This collecting scheme was initiated by the Irish Folklore Commission, under the direction of Séamus Ó Duilearga and Séan Ó Súilleabháin … For the duration of the project, more than 50,000 schoolchildren from 5,000 schools in the 26 counties of the Irish Free State were enlisted to collect folklore in their home districts. This included oral history, topographical information, folktales and legends, riddles and proverbs, games and pastimes, trades and crafts. The children recorded this material from their parents, grandparents, and neighbours.

Read some of the stories (and admire the handwriting) at The Editors’ Picks, or search the entire Schools’ Collection.

Free for All: The Vermont Archaeological Society and the Journal of Vermont Archaeology

The Vermont Archaeological Society is celebrating their 50th anniversary this year, and they have not only made  pdfs of their journal free to download, they have also made membership in the Society free.

The Journal of Vermont Archaeology has been published since 1994. In it, you can read about the squabble over who discovered Vermont’s first Paleoindian site.

Victor Rolando’s monograph 200 Years of Soot and Sweat: The History and Archeology of Vermont’s Iron, Charcoal, and Lime Industries, originally published in 1992,  is also available for download at their site.

Open Access: Kangaroos and California, Peanut Butter and Jelly

The University of California Press has made all their journal articles freely available for the month of April.

UC Press, which is celebrating their 125th anniversary, publishes California History, where you can read Kangaroos and the California Gold Rush by Cyler Conrad. The first kangaroos arrived in California in 1850 in the form of rugs, or skins; it wasn’t until 1852 that a live kangaroo made the voyage over from Australia.

kangaroo
Source: Photo by Josh Appel on Unsplash

Other journals are Journal of the Society of Architectural HistoriansHistorical Studies in the Natural Sciences, The Public Historian, and Gastronomica: The Journal of Critical Food Studies, which recently published  a history of the peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Source: Evan-Amos [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons
References:

Conrad, Cyler
2017 Kangaroos and the California Gold Rush. California History 94 (3):62-65.  DOI: 10.1525/ch.2017.94.3.62

Estes, Steve
2017 PB&J: The Rise and Fall of an Iconic American Dish. Gastronomica: The Journal of Critical Food Studies 17 (2):5-15.

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.”