Tag Archive for archaeology

Middletown Materials Class Posts Final Projects Online

The Middletown Materials: Archaeological Analysis class (ANTH 227) presented their final projects May 5-7 in the new Cross Street Archaeology Lab. The class was taught by Sarah Croucher, assistant professor of anthropology, assistant professor of archaeology, assistant professor of feminist, gender and sexuality studies.

“The class has been doing fantastic work on beginning to reexamine archaeological contexts explored in the late 1970s by Professor Stephen Dyson and students,” she says. “They’ve had a tough job as the first class to begin working with this material, but have been making great progress with the artifacts and with working on associated archival information.”

Presentations were held across two class sessions, and included work on advertising in late 18th and early 19th century Middletown, the relationship of Middletown newspapers to the Magill site inhabitants, queer Marxist investigations of historical archaeology in Middletown, interpretations of bottles found in the rebuilding of the Wesleyan boathouse, and a tour of the remaining historical buildings on Wesleyan’s campus and their relationship to the changing history of Middletown.

Their work is published online at http://middletownmaterials.research.wesleyan.edu/student-posts/.

Fellowship has Croucher Focused on 19th Century East Africa

Second from left, Sara Croucher, assistant professor of anthropology, assistant professor of archaeology, assistant professor of feminist, gender and sexuality studies, received a SAR Weatherhead Fellowship to Study Archaeology in 19th Century East Africa. She's pictured here with Rachel Miller-Howard '10, third from left.

Second from left, Sarah Croucher, assistant professor of anthropology, assistant professor of archaeology, assistant professor of feminist, gender and sexuality studies, received a Weatherhead Fellowship to study the archaeology of 19th Century East Africa. She's pictured at the Ujiji excavation site in Western Tanzania during 2008 with, from left, Hajj M. Hajj, Tanzanian research associate; Rachel Miller-Howard ’10; and Florah Kessy, an M.A. student, from the University of Dar es Salaam.

As an archaeologist investigating 19th century sites in Zanzibar and Tanzania, it was impossible for Sarah Croucher to ignore the thousands of shreds of locally-produced and imported ceramics unearthed every day of excavations.

For archaeologists, these materials are vital to interpreting the social history of 19th century Islamic colonialism in East Africa.

“Many key questions remain uninvestigated, particularly in regard to how newly shared Zanzibar identities emerged during the 19th Century, which intersected with gender, religion, class and sexuality,” Croucher explains.

Sarah Croucher working in a trench

Sarah Croucher and research associate Hajj M. Hajj excavate at the site of Ujiji.

Croucher, assistant professor of anthropology, assistant professor of archaeology, assistant professor of feminist, gender and sexuality studies, has been awarded a nine-month Weatherhead Fellowship by the School for Advanced Research (SAR) in Santa Fe, N.M. Resident scholars approach their research from anthropology or from related fields such as history, sociology, art and philosophy, with fellowships providing scholars with “time to think and write about topics important to the understanding of humankind.” Scholars are provided with housing and office space on the SAR campus in Santa Fe.

Croucher was awarded the fellowship to complete writing up the findings of her research, tied together into a project titled “Consuming Colonialism: Archaeological Investigations of Ceramics and Identities in 19th Century East Africa.”

The core of this study results from survey and excavation work Croucher directed in 2003 and 2005 to investigate clove plantation sites on Zanzibar. Further material is drawn from a 2006 survey project along the central caravan route taken by traders during the 19th Century and excavations in 2008 at the site of Ujiji in Western Tanzania, made famous by the expeditions of Stanley and

Speakers Raise Awareness of Native American Repatriation Challenges

In honor of the 20th anniversary of the passage of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), the Center for American Studies sponsored an event titled "Reconsidering Repatriation: Colonial Legacies, Indigenous Politics and Institutional Developments," held March 26 in Russell House. The event was held to raise awareness of critical issues regarding NAGPRA compliance in the context of both Wesleyan as an institution of higher learning that is subject to the federal law, and the particular challenges of repatriation in the southern New England region.

In honor of the 20th anniversary of the passage of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), the American Studies Program sponsored an event titled "Reconsidering Repatriation: Colonial Legacies, Indigenous Politics and Institutional Developments," held March 26 in Russell House. The event was held to raise awareness of critical issues regarding NAGPRA compliance in the context of both Wesleyan as an institution of higher learning that is subject to the federal law, and the particular challenges of repatriation in the southern New England region.

Archeology Students Rummage though Rubbish For Lab Assignment

Maggie Drowica '12, Ellie Dorsey '12, Jessica Steinke '10 and Anna Crystal '11 rummage through garbage during a In Introduction to Archeology assignment titled "Understanding Garbage - Research and Analysis." (Photos by Olivia Bartlett)

Maggie Drowica ’12, Ellie Dorsey ’12, Jessica Steinke ’10 and Anna Crystal ’11 rummage through garbage during an Introduction to Archaeology assignment titled “Understanding Garbage – Research and Analysis.” (Photos by Olivia Bartlett)

In Introduction to Archaeology, all students were trash-talking their first assignment.

Titled “Understanding Garbage – Research and Analysis,” the laboratory project helped students understand ways archeologists collect and analyze data by rummaging through rubbish and taking note of their findings.