BarCampCHS Session 4 (ish) We Named the Dog Indiana

Presenter: Cairn Boone (SP?  I can’t see her tag well) @fortune_n_glory

She does encounter snakes, esp. copperheads.  She works out at Drayton Hall.

She has a dinosaur.  Archaeologists dig dinosaurs…but they don’t dig them up. 🙂

She doesn’t carry a weapon.  They tell her that you get the whip with the PhD.

Who do you tend to think of?  Howard Carter types. 

Myth: Brush things off carefully.  They only ever carefully brush things off when they’re going on TV. 🙂

Her advisor was the national park archaeologist at Valley Forge.  There’s a pic of him with the lovely hats they still give you. 😉

Myth: Something exciting is always happening.
Reality: Whatever that awesome thing is that you’re looking for….it’s in the *next* bucket.

There are different kinds of archaeologists.
-biological anthropologists – They study Lucy and other aspects of human origings
-Ancient Bronze Age/Classical
-Medieval & Renaissance
-Historical (Post-Medieval) – she is this type.
-Prehistoric (Ex, someone who digs a Native American culture)

Myth: Humans evolved from apes.
Reality: There is an evolutionary chain.  Apes and Humans are cousins…somewhere we both have a common ancestor.

Myth: Pompeii was the only city destroyed by Vesuvius
Reality: Herculaneum is better preserved and there are fewer tourists there.

Myth: No underground treasure rooms in NYC
Reality: Dig pits to find soil stains, fireplace hearths, etc.

People ask what’s the coolest thing you’ve ever found.  Her answer: George Washington’s dining cabin…specifically a stain in the dirt that shows where it was found.

Something very important to her is to share her finds, especially because she digs the history that belongs to all of us.

It is frustrating because sometimes people don’t hear what they’ve actually found.  Want examples:

How did they know it was the dining cabin? Historical archaeologists have documents to help them locate their digs.  They found a hearth, charcoal, ash, red fired clay, log stains, organic compounds. 

They take the map info, both new maps and historical mapes (in this case, Von Steuben’s map) and use high tech stuff like ground penetrating radar to find more info to help locate a dig.

Carbon dating isn’t so helpful in some cases of historical archaeology because the margin of error is so large.

She actually found the stain from the place where the door opening was.  They could tell because of the curving stain at the corner of the cabin.

Tip: If you want to dig on the National Parks, it helps to be their employee.

Divide the space into 10×10 squares with 5×5 units.

Her dig proved a couple of things: 1) the camp kitchens were by the road, contrary to previous belief.  They found stuff in the ovens area, including creamware ceramic, which were for the use of officers only.  Also found buttons, musket balls, handles, and a mysterious brass metal thing.  She also found 2nd PA buttons.  And when they dug the place where 2nd PA was supposed to be, NO buttons.  She found 2 of 3 known first USA buttons on her dig.  Washington ordered them to change buttons and this is when they began to use them.

SC had over 300 battles of the Revolution.  That’s more than any other colony in the Revolution War.

It’s not just about finding stuff.  They want to know WHY people did things.  They can discover meaning from people’s things.

“Death By Theory” – by Dr. Adrian Praetzellis. The quote indicates that they’re trying to understand why people did things, but that pursuit requires ambiguity.

Now, altho, Washington said no games of chance and drinking…they made dice out of musket balls, which she found.  And there was bottle glass there, too.

Now, YOU can dig!  Local digs are looking for volunteers, like at Colonial Dorchester State Historic Site.

Reality: Will dig for beer.

And now we look at the Things She Brought!

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