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Posts Tagged ‘archeology’

A Sedimental Education (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

Heather Hoppe-Bruce wrote an op-ed essay in the Sunday Boston Globe about what might be unearthed in a new Boston harbor dredging project. Among the possibilities:
HMS Diana

On May 28, 1775, during the Battle of Chelsea Creek, this schooner was abandoned, captured by provincial forces, then set ablaze and run aground. As this battle was the first naval engagement of the American Revolution, the HMS Diana site would be a major find. Could ship remnants still exist by the creek’s entrance? The state’s Board of Underwater Archaeological Resources thinks so and has requested additional survey work on the ...

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Digging for Shays (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

The Burlington Free Press just ran an Associated Press story (also picked up by the Boston Globe and Wall Street Journal) about a high-school teacher’s archeological dig in Sandgate, Vermont, with roots in post-Revolutionary America:
On the south side of a mountain in Sandgate, Steve Butz and his students from Cambridge High School are unearthing what he and townspeople believe was the hideout of Daniel Shays, a former Continental Army captain who fled Massachusetts in 1787 after leading a fight against harsh economic policies.

“Everybody around here would be quick to tell you that’s Shays’ village,” ...

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Tree Rings Under the Trade Center (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

I first mentioned dendrochronology—the new science of matching up the thicknesses of tree rings to identify the age and source of a piece of wood—back in 2007. It’s usually applied to buildings, and especially to determining whether they’re as old as tradition says.

This week there was a remarkable example of “dendro” in action, applied to a remarkable bit of wood: a small ship’s hull found in 2010 during the excavation for the new World Trade Center in Manhattan.

As Live Science reported, a paper in Tree-Ring Research says a dendrochronology team led by Dario Martin-Benito ...

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James Madison in Virginia (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

In February the Colonial Williamsburg podcast featured an interview with the actor now portraying James Madison, Bryan Austin. He portrays the future fourth President as a young lawyer.

In other news, this Charlottesville article cheekily titled “The Full Montpelier,” about the ongoing work to restore that Virginia estate, including “filling out the inside of the Madisons’ former mansion and erecting replica structures of the former slave quarters,” as well as establishing events.

And surprises are still lurking under the ground:
[Matt] Reeves is ecstatic because his team of 11 full-time archaeologists and 17 students from James Madison University ...

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The Challenge of Carter’s Grove (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

I first visited Colonial Williamsburg a little over twenty years ago. [It appears that folks in Virginia think they had something to do with the Revolution as well. Who knew?]

One of the things I most enjoyed about that trip was visiting Carter’s Grove, a plantation mansion some distance from the restored village. And a big part of that site’s appeal was figuring out the story behind it.

It seemed clear that Colonial Williamsburg acquired that property in 1969 only because one of the Rockefellers on its board insisted. Other folks in the institution felt saddled with this white elephant ...

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Exploring the Tunnel at Ninety Six (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

This spring archeologists, local firefighters, and National Park Service staff started to explore a tunnel dug during a siege in South Carolina in 1781. This is apparently the only tunnel created during a Revolutionary War siege to survive, and in fact it survived in good shape.

The History Blog reported this story, based on local television coverage:
The 125-foot tunnel was designed by Polish humanist, engineer and Revolutionary War hero Thaddeus Kosciuszko during the 1781 siege of the earthen Star Fort in the town of Ninety Six, South Carolina. The plan was for the tunnel to extend underneath the ...

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Evacuation Day Exercises in Dorchester and Roxbury, 17 Mar. (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

Monday, 17 March, is the anniversary of the day in 1776 when the British military left Boston and the first Continental troops moved in. That event will be commemorated with historical exercises in Dorchester and Roxbury starting at 10:00 A.M.

The ceremony at the Dorchester Heights monument will feature the Lexington Minutemen, the Allied War Veterans of South Boston, a children’s choir from the South Boston Catholic Academy, and the Major General Henry Knox Lodge of Freemasons.

Nathaniel Philbrick, author of Bunker Hill and other award-winning historical books, will speak, along with elected officials and Boston National Historical Park ...

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Looking for New Chemung (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

This month Binghamton University reported on some interesting work by its archeology faculty:
Experts from the Public Archaeology Facility recently took their shovels to a cornfield about 45 miles west of Binghamton, searching for evidence that could earn that site — the scene of a small but significant Revolutionary War battle — a spot on the National Register of Historic Places.

Four days of digging beneath the corn stubble yielded project director Michael Jacobson and his Binghamton University colleagues just a few modest items, including a charcoal smudge and the possible remains of a wooden post. But if test results ...

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Toys for the Custis Children (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

As I described yesterday, a number of recent publications have included a list of toys that George Washington supposedly ordered for his new stepchildren, Jacky and Patsy, on his first Christmas with them in 1759. But no such list appears in The Papers of George Washington, Colonial Series, which can be searched at Founders Online.

However, I found that John C. Fitzpatrick used some of the phrases on that list in his 1933 biography, George Washington Himself. Fitzpatrick was then overseeing the edition of Washington’s papers put out by the federal government in the early twentieth ...

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Mystery and Myth in Millis (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

A regional section of the Boston Globe recently reported on a talk by Paul LaCroix, president of the Millis Historical Society, about archeological explorations of a site called the Fairbanks Stone House. The property extends over the border to Sherborn.

The newspaper states:
Town records indicated that the Stone House, built in the 1640s as a garrison during a Native American uprising, was torn down in the late 1800s but its exact location was undocumented. . . .

LaCroix found large amounts of slag in addition to the 3-by-3-foot stone foundation of a “bloomery,” the type of furnace used ...

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Invincible Looking Pretty Vincible (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

The Portsmouth News just reported:
The remains of HMS Invincible are among many national treasures that English Heritage says need better protection.

HMS Invincible was originally a 74-gun French warship, launched in 1744 and captured by the British Navy at the Battle of Finisterre in 1747.

She lies at the sandbanks running along the coast of Portsmouth, after running aground and sinking in 1798.

HMS Invincible is a protected wreck site, but it has now been deemed at risk because monitoring has revealed significant parts of the wreck are becoming exposed due to lowering seabed levels.
Wikipedia says the ...

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New Terms and New Reading on the “Battle of Chelsea Creek” (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

Last week I attended Victor Mastone’s lecture at the Boston Public Library about his team’s investigation into the “Battle of Chelsea Creek,” a latter-day name for the amphibious fight over Hog Island, Noddle’s Island, and the Chelsea shore on 27-28 May 1775.

Mastone started by saying that his position as Director of the Massachusetts Board of Underwater Archaeological Resources was more impressive if you assumed he had any staff to direct. But for this National Park Service project he oversaw a team of people from different disciplines to explore how the north of Boston harbor looked in May 1775, and ...

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New Terms and New Reading on the “Battle of Chelsea Creek” (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

Last week I attended Victor Mastone’s lecture at the Boston Public Library about his team’s investigation into the “Battle of Chelsea Creek,” a latter-day name for the amphibious fight over Hog Island, Noddle’s Island, and the Chelsea shore on 27-28 May 1775.

Mastone started by saying that his position as Director of the Massachusetts Board of Underwater Archaeological Resources was more impressive if you assumed he had any staff to direct. But for this National Park Service project he oversaw a team of people from different disciplines to explore how the north of Boston harbor looked in May 1775, and ...

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A Surfeit of Historical Talks in Boston This Week (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

Liz Covart has taken to starting each week at her Uncommonplace Book blog with a list of historical events coming up in Boston. This week several caught my eye.

Wednesday, 11 September, 12:00 noon, at the Massachusetts Historical Society
A brown bag lunch seminar with Jill Bouchillon of the University of Sterling speaking about her research on “Friendship in Colonial New England, 1750-1775.” She argues that colonial New Englanders understood friendship differently from us, and hopes to support that argument by examining how people wrote about friendship in pre-Revolutionary newspapers, books, and magazines.

Wednesday, 11 September, 6:00 P.M., at the ...

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The Transformation of the Royall House (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

Last week the Boston Globe reported a story long in the making: the transformation of Isaac Royall’s mansion in Medford, one of many surviving Loyalist-owned Georgian houses built in the towns outside Boston, into the Royall House and Slave Quarters, a unique site exploring the history of slavery in New England.

The article said:
Working with a board member named Julia Royall — an eighth generation descendant of Isaac Royall — he [co-president Peter Gittleman] began the cumbersome process of refashioning the 105-year-old museum from “just another rich person’s house,” as Julia Royall puts it, to ...

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At Home with Mary Washington (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

At Boston 1775 headquarters we’ve been reading Where the Cherry Tree Grew: The Story of Ferry Farm, George Washington’s Boyhood Home, about the history and archeology of the farm where George Washington grew up and his mother, Mary, continued to live until 1772.

Along the way author Philip Levy explores the many legends that have grown up around Washington’s youth and how a lot of us still want them to be true. To interest reporters in the site during the excavations, he told them, “If the story of the cherry tree were true, it would have happened here.” What ...

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What Lies Beneath Our Feet (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

Yet another archeology story, this one from DNAinfo.com’s New York news site:
Workers digging in the Financial District last week unearthed a trove of liquor bottles more than 200 years old — some still intact and corked — underneath a 15-foot stretch of Fulton Street at the corner of Titanic Park and Water Street.

Over two days, they uncovered more than one hundred 18th-century bottles of booze buried seven feet under ground, said Alyssa Loorya, an archaeologist whose firm Chrysalis Archaeology has been overseeing the Department of Design and Construction’s excavation of the area to install new water mains.

...

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Who’s Got the Button? (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

This is turning into archeology week at Boston 1775, but here’s another story about a recent find. The Williamsburg Yorktown Daily reports that young teen Finney Lynch found a button with the markings of the 85ème Regiment Saintonge, one of the French units that served in the siege of Yorktown:
The rain on June 24 did more than just water the plants. It likely loosed a Revolutionary War-era button from a bank of land after more than 230 years, planting it in full view of an eighth-grade archaeology camper.

As Finney Lynch, an eighth-grade student at The Covenant ...

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Digging in the North End (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

Yesterday’s Boston Globe offered a progress report on a little dig in Boston’s North End. As part of a renovation project, the Old North Church’s, they invited the city’s archeology department to excavate the back yard of the Ebenezer Clough house, built around 1715.

The result:
During two weeks of digging, Bagley and a crew of volunteers collected tens of thousands of items from the 1700s. The haul included long-ago leftovers of everyday life: animal bones, doll parts, and uncounted chips and fragments of dishes and cups that archeologists hope will reveal more about how Bostonians lived as a ...

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In Like Flints (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

Earlier this year I missed this article by Joel Bohy at the Skinner, Inc., auction house about a large deposit of musket flints in Concord, in a field above the North Bridge. Joel makes the case that those flints are a relic of 19 Apr 1775:
…over 150 years later, Concord resident and archeologist Benjamin Smith found many of those flints, resting in that same pasture, known today as the musterfield. Smith didn’t set out to uncover a part of American military history. He was a collector of Native American objects, and noticed in the fall of 1934 that ...

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The Royal Irish Artillery at the Revere House, 29 June (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

On Saturday, 29 June, from 1:00 to 4:00 P.M., the Paul Revere House in the North End will host Fred Lawson, a founder of the Royal Irish Artillery reenacting group. He will show off sample artillery tools and discuss the use of those weapons in battle (though the chance of setting off cannon in downtown Boston is very small).

Revere was an artillerist, eventually commanding Massachusetts’s regiment during the 1779 expedition to Maine. He was never in the Royal Irish Artillery, of course. Instead, the site reports, “The Royal Artillery fought against Paul Revere at the Siege of Castine ...

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A Fort from 1779, a Redcoat from 1799 (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

Here are a couple of eighteenth-century archeology stories from the past month.

The Associated Press reported on a dig in Georgia that located Carr’s Fort, site of a skirmish in February 1779. The article explains:
Robert Carr was a cattle farmer who settled with his wife, children and a single middle-aged female slave in Wilkes County after colonists started arriving there in 1773. Carr also served as captain of a militia company of roughly 100 men. Responsible for leading his militiamen and looking out for their families, Carr built a stockade wall to protect his farmhouse and surrounding property, which ...

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New Reading from Williamsburg (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

The book reviews from the January 2013 issue of the William & Mary Quarterly are now online, readable in P.D.F. form through this webpage. Those reviews include Edward G. Gray’s roundup of three recent books on Loyalism headlined “Liberty’s Losers” because, as Gray points out, British society didn’t actually suffer that much damage from the war:
Less than a decade after the conclusive battle at Yorktown, ordinary Britons could point to few lingering consequences of the war. Americans who had traveled to London for culture and knowledge before the war were coming again. Prewar trading patterns had been ...

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The Secrets of H.M.S. Hussar (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

Many news outlets are carrying the story, first reported by the local C.B.S. station and then spread by the Associated Press, of New York’s Central Park Conservancy finding that one of the park’s monuments had contained a loaded cannon.

The cannon was donated to Central Park about the time of the U.S. Civil War and remained on display, its mouth plugged with cement, until 1996. Then it was removed for preservation. Conservators who started to work on the gun recently discovered that underneath the plug was cotton wadding, iron ball, and 800 grams of black powder. ...

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