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End of the Year Report (Fall 2023)

Fall 2023

Report by Melanie Cham (’24) and Isabella Hosey (’26)

This semester the EAL had several projects going on:

The Washington Street Cemetery in Middletown, Connecticut is filled with gravestones dating back to the mid-1750s. This semester, undergraduate students in the course ARCP204: Introduction to Archaeology visited the cemetery during a field trip and recorded information on gravestones in the southern part of the cemetery. This field trip activity allowed students to practice their observation skills and start to think about seriation, which is an archaeological dating method based on artifact styles. Students took photos and carefully documented information about their assigned gravestone, including inscriptions, measurements, styles of decoration/carving, type of stone material, state of preservation, and other threats to conservation. Once back in the classroom, students worked to place gravestones with heavily eroded or unreadable inscriptions along a timeline based on the styles of other well-dated gravestones nearby. The Environmental Archaeology Lab shared the photos and information that the students collected with the local Middlesex County Historical Society as a record of these important historic gravestones.

Earlier this fall, the EAL helped in organizing the third annual pumpkin carving event.

We also restored a nine-banded armadillo specimen for display in the Exley library near Shelley the Glyptodon. This required us to refit the case, repaint the stand, reattach the loose bones, as well as dust the fully articulated specimen.

The 3D scanning team assisted Professor Kate Ten Eyck in the Middletown’s Tunnel Mosaic Project. This involved making models of hammerstones, stone woodworking tools, and chipped stone tools found in Middletown, Portland, and surrounding areas. The 3D scanning students are also digitizing casts from the Joe Webb Peoples Museum