Archaeology Month at the Fiske Center
By Kati Albert
Happy October and happy Massachusetts Archaeology Month to all who follow the Fiske Center and UMB Archaeology!
To speak very personally, I love archaeology month. I see it not just an opportunity for us to pat ourselves on the back and celebrate the great work that we do, but also as a time to reach out to the public and show a larger audience what it is that we do, and why it is so interesting. Connecting to the public is such a powerful thing for archaeologists; there is a lot that both groups can offer each other if they take the time. As such, this Archaeology Month is as much a time for sharing with others as it is for highlighting our efforts for our colleagues and ourselves.
It’s been a great month for us at the Fiske Center/UMB so far both in terms of our field projects (a geophysical survey at Gore Place in Waltham, MA, and an STP survey in Pembroke, MA), as well as our special outreach events.
The month began with members of UMB’s Society for Graduate Archaeologists (SGA) tabling in the university Campus Center. Armed with books, archaeo-botanical samples, a video of students in the field (check that out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dDYqxhXCKX0&feature=youtu.be ), and an artifact guessing game, the SGA worked to spread the word about the archaeology at UMB from the research projects, to the master’s program, and the opportunities to volunteer. It was a great opportunity to share our work with the larger student body, and to touch base with people interesting in learning more about our work, or becoming involved with us.
The SGA will be back tabling next week on Monday the 28th and Wednesday the 30th. Feel free to stop by, say “hi”, and learn about the amazing archaeological experiences UMB has to offer.
Students have also given talks relevant to their theses this month as well. On October 10th, current 3rd year Elizabeth Tarulis gave a presentation about her thesis research at the Alden House Barn. She discussed the larger connections and trade networks behind some of the ceramics from the Alden collection and the vessels that have been recovered during the excavations at Burial Hill during the Plymouth Field School.
This past weekend, current graduate students Lissa Herzing and Jared Muehlbauer working on the Boston-Higginbotham House collections gave a presentation to the Nantucket on the excavations conducted there in 2014 and the subsequent research that has been conducted. They shared some of their analysis on the rich collections of artifacts recovered from the excavations, which shed more light on the diverse people from the island’s history.
Even though we’ve done a lot already, we still more archaeology events planned for October! Coming up on October 30th, associate director of the Fiske Center, Dr. David Landon, will be presenting at Pilgrim Hall Museum on the excavations that have been conducted in downtown Plymouth over the past several years. This will be an opportunity to learn about the most recent excavations and discoveries from Burial Hill, where part of a 17th-century structure has recently been found.
For more information about up-coming events happening all across Massachusetts, please visit the Massachusetts Archaeology Month page on the Massachusetts Historical Commission’s website at: https://www.sec.state.ma.us/mhc/mhcarch/arch_month/archidx.htm
Hope to see you around!
Have a happy and safe Archaeology Month!