Middletown Materials: Archaeological Analysis|
Spring 2013 not offered
|This course may be repeated for credit.|
ARCP 227, AMST 262|
|Course Cluster: Service-Learning|
Buried beneath you as you walk the streets of Middletown is the residue of former residents. Mostly consisting of fragments of ceramics, glass, and other objects, these hold the potential to begin to unlock the day-to-day history of their past owners and users. On the triangle of land between Vine Street, Cross Street, and Knowles Avenue (known as the Beman Triangle), a community of African Americans began to build houses from the mid-19th century on land owned by one of their community, Leveret Beman. Although few above-ground traces now suggest the presence of this community, material about their lives survives in the record of their trash and other archaeological features that remain beneath the backyards of the houses on this land.
In this class we will study the archaeology of this site, in partnership with members of the wider Middletown community, particularly from the AME Zion Church. Academic material in the class will cover the archaeology of 19th-century African Americans and studies of how community archaeology projects can be formulated as an equal partnership between community stakeholders and archaeologists.
We will conduct two weekends of excavation at the site that will involve learning to excavate, processing archaeological materials, and how to tour visitors around the excavations. We will also work with community members to collect oral histories about the site and will hold discussions to determine local wishes in relation to how the heritage of the site should be presented and preserved. Our other angle of research will delve into local archives to supplement historical knowledge about the site and to interpret objects and features found on excavations.
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|Course Format: Seminar||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (AMST)(SISP-Anth Conc)
We will study a selection of articles, project reports and books including those by Brandon, Davidson, Dawdy, LaRoche, McDavid, Mullins, Praetzellis, and Voss.
|Examination and Assignments: |
Two short papers, journal, final project and presentation.
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
Participation in this class will include archaeological fieldwork on two weekends in March and April, work on collecting oral histories, project consultation, and/or artifact processing outside of regular class time.
Interviews will be made by appointment with Professor Coucher. Please be ready to discuss your commitment to spending the weekends of April 14 & 15 and April 28 & 29 involved in Beman Triangle excavations.
You should note that this class will entail a significant commitment to participation and engagement with the AME Zion Church community. A community archaeology event will also be held on the afternoon of Saturday February 25.
You should also have some prior experience in archaeology, oral history, civic engagement, anthropology, or African American history. No prior excavation experience is expected or required, just excitement and enthusiasm about learning.
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