Fall 2013 Archaeology Fair

In the Fall of 2013, the ASC  partnered with Friends of the Office of State Archaeology (FOSA) to celebrate World Archaeology Day on October 19. The Fair was held at the Keeney Memorial Cultural Center in Wethersfield, CT.
Please see below for more information.

Connecticut Archaeology Fair
Keeney Memorial Center
200Main St. Wethersfiel , Connecticut
Saturday, October 19, 2013
Connecticut Field Schools
11:00-New England Hebrew Farmers of Emanuel Society Site: UCONN Judaic Studies Summer Field School
Nick Bellantoni and Stuart Miller, University of Connecticut (Nick Bellantoni, Presenter)
Over 120 years ago, this Chesterfield, Connecticut, site was home to a cluster of Russian Jewish families who had relocated from the teeming neighborhoods of New York City’s Lower East Side to make a living as poultry and dairy farmers. Although the community was essentially defunct by World War II, the area still has the remains of the synagogue, the creamery, dairy barn, ritual slaughter house and a mikveh. Mikvehs represent ritual bathing pools and are essential for Jewish married life.
In July 2012, the University of Connecticut’s Judaic Studies Program coordinated the Office of State Archaeology to conduct a field school at the mikveh complex. These excavations were built on prior work at the site by the Public Archaeology Survey Team, Inc. and Historical Perspectives, Inc. The site is on the National Register of Historic Places and is listed as a State Archaeological Preserve.
Nicholas F. Bellantoni serves as the state archaeologist with the Connecticut State Museum of Natural History and Archaeology Center at the University of Connecticut. He received his doctorate in anthropology from UCONN in 1987 and was shortly thereafter appointed state archaeologist. His duties are many, but primarily include the preservation of archaeological sites in the state. His research background is the analysis of skeletal remains from eastern North
America. He has been excavating in Connecticut for over 30 years.
Stuart Miller is Professor of Hebrew, History, and Judaic Studies Academic Director, Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life at the University of Connecticut. He is an expert on ritual baths in ancient Israel and has conducted archaeological excavations at Sepphoris.
12:00-Unexpected Pharmaceuticals: Archaeology at the Beman Triangle, Middletown
Sarah Croucher, Wesleyan
This talk focuses on the Beman Triangle, Middletown. Wesleyan archaeology students and volunteers have been excavating remains of a neighborhood founded by free African-Americans in the mid-nineteenth century. One of the unexpected findings has been a massive quantity of pharmaceutical related objects.
This talk will discuss the way that we have begun to interpret these objects,and how they may have implications for our understandings of healthcare in late-nineteenth century Connecticut.
Sarah Croucher is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Archaeology, and Feminist, Gender &  Sexuality Studies at Wesleyan University. Her forthcoming book, Capitalism and Cloves, examines the archaeology of clove plantations on Zanzibar. She currently directs research at the Beman Triangle, a nineteenth century African-American community in Middletown, Connecticut.
1:00-Western Connecticut State University’s Investigations of the Middle Encampment Site in
Redding, Connecticut: The State’s Newest Revolutionary War Archaeological Preserve
Laurie Weinstein and Cos Sgarlata, Western Connecticut State University (Cos Sgarlata,Presenter)
During the winter of 1777-78 General George Washington had concentrated most of the Continental Army forces in Valley Forge, but due to logistical difficulties of housing an entire army in one location Washington decided to spread his troops out the following winter. Redding, Connecticut was the easternmost site of the three winter camps established in 1778-79. It was divided into three encampments: the easternmost is today known as Putnam Park; the westernmost was destroyed by modern development; and, between these sites was Middle Encampment. Daniel Cruson and Kathleen von Jena, while researching Putnam Park, contacted Laurie Weinstein, Director of the archaeology program at Western Connecticut State University (WCSU), to investigate Middle Encampment.
This paper presents 8 years of ethnohistorical and archaeological investigations by WCSU staff members and students. This work has included a variety of approaches including pedestrian survey, Geographical Information Systems mapping, shovel testing and excavation, Fourier transform Raman (FTR) analysis for food residues, micromorphology, deed and archival research, ground penetrating radar, and metal detecting. This paper presents the results of this research. Sincere thanks goes to the many people who contributed to the selection of the Middle Encampment site as an Archaeological Preserve this past summer.
Dr. Laurie Weinstein is a professor of Anthropology at Western Connecticut State University.She received her Ph.D. from Southern Methodist University. She is the General Editor of Native Peoples of the Americas from the University of Arizona Press, a series that covers the western hemisphere. She has also edited or written many books and articles on such diverse topics as New England Indians and Indians of the Southwest to women in the military, including, The
Wampanoag (Chelsea House Press), Enduring Traditions, Native Peoples of New England (Praeger Press), Native
Peoples of the Southwest (Praeger Press), Women and the Military in the United States and Canada (Praeger Press), and Gender Camouflage (New York University Press). She is currently working on a book for the U. of A. series on Indians of western Connecticut as well as articles about Native soldiers in the Revolutionary War.
At Western Connecticut State University she is the program director for archaeology (which she team teaches with Dr. Bethany Morrison and Dr. Sgarlata) and Director of the Jane Goodall Center for Excellence in Environmental Learning.
When she is not teaching and writing, she is entertaining her house full of pets.
Dr. Cosimo Sgarlata is an adjunct professor at Western Connecticut State University, a GIS specialist, an Archaeological Consultant and is currently chief editor for an upcoming volume on encampments, support structures and trails of the Revolutionary War. Cos received his Ph.D. in Archaeology from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY) and his M.A. in Archaeology from Hunter College (CUNY). In graduate school he specialized in the archaeological Northeast and analysis of (lithic) stone tools.
2:00-The Ragged Mountain Soapstone Quarry, Barkhamsted
Ken Feder, Central Connecticut State University
The 2011 and 2013 archaeology field schools directed by Ken Feder, professor at Central Connecticut State University (CCSU), focused on a 3,000-year-old soapstone quarry site located in Peoples State Forest in Barkhamsted, Connecticut.
Before the introduction of ceramic technology into southern New England, natives relied on a locally available, soft stone called steatite or “soapstone” for the production of fireproof cooking vessels. Soapstone is soft and can be easily carved into durable cooking and storage vessels. Technically a metamorphic rock composed of talc-schist, soapstone is found in discrete, highly localized pockets throughout southern New England. In our excavation of the quarry, we located several incomplete, in-place, “unharvested” bowl forms, several incomplete bowl blanks removed from the steatite matrix, numerous quartzite tools used in quarrying the shaping the bowls, as well as cobble quarries where the raw quartzite
for those tools was gathered.
Ken Feder obtained his B.A. in anthropology in 1973 from the State University of New York at Stonybrook. He obtained his M.A. in anthropology in 1975 from the University of Connecticut and his Ph.D. from the same institution in 1982. He has taught in the Department of Anthropology at Central Connecticut State University since 1977 where he is a full professor. His primary research interests include the archaeology of the native peoples of New England and the analysis of public perceptions about the human past.
He is the author and co-author of several books including: A Village of Outcasts: Historical Archaeology and Documentary Research at the Lighthouse Site (Mayfield Publishing, 2004); Human Antiquity: An Introduction to Physical Anthropology and Archaeology (with Michael Park; now in its fifth edition; McGraw-Hill, 2007); Frauds, Myths, and Mysteries: Science and Pseudoscience in Archaeology (now in its seventh edition; McGraw-Hill, 2011); The Past In Perspective: An Introduction to Human Prehistory (now in its fifth edition; Oxford University Press, 2011); Linking to the Past: A Brief Introduction to Archaeology (now in its second edition; Oxford University Press, 2008); and the newly published Encyclopedia of Dubious Archaeology (Greenwood, 2010).