From June 3rd to 14th, Morrill Hall was being demolished. Slowly over the two weeks, the red bricks were removed and the levels of the building came down. They moved from the western wing through to the eastern, and the columns at the main entrance were left last. It is sad to see the building go, but there are a number of ways that we can remember the building.
Final days of Morrill Hall, via Katy Meyers
1. Bricks: The MSU Surplus Store will be selling red bricks from exterior of the building. These will go on sale during the beginning of the fall semester, and check the surplus website to learn more!
2. Plaque: A memorial plaque like the one found near Saints’ Rest will be placed in the location where the building once stood. It will discuss the history of the building.
3. Garden: The main replacement for the building will be a garden. This memorial consists of a walkway that extends down the length of what once was Morill Hall’s central hallway, and will have a seating area where the main entryway used to be. The site restoration will be complete by September. MSU’s Infrastructure, Facilities and Planning recently leaked some images of the garden:
Screenshot of the forthcoming garden via MSU IPF
4. Renaming: In the Fall 2013 semester, Agriculture Hall will be changed to the Morrill Hall of Agriculture in order to continue having a building with that name.
For the rest of the summer, the demolition teams will be sorting bricks and material from the building’s remains. Feel free to stop by and watch the progress!
The large amount of rain East Lansing has experienced over the past three weeks has deeply affected the construction and archaeology on campus. This delay in work has allowed us at the Campus Archaeology Program to turn our attention to the other side of archaeology: finds and analysis. Back here at our homebase in MSU’s Consortium for Archaeological Research, we’re working on analysis and interpretation of our artifacts and integrating this with our maps.
Artifacts cleaned and ready for cataloging
Artifacts found on this campus vary from types of ceramics and metal fixtures found within homes to industrial pipes and building materials. After the dig, the collected finds are returned to the lab and processed. This means that all of the finds are washed and dried. Following this process, members of our team work to identify the artifacts and input them into a database. Our team notes the type of artifact and the presence of identifying characteristics such as decorative styles, any wording or maker’s mark (trademark stamps), and/or if the piece is a specific part of a vessel such as rim, handle, or base. This allows us to look at just what types of things were being used in the early days at Michigan State College.
In the meantime, another type of analysis is occurring upstairs in the archaeology computer lab. It is here where a slightly more technologically literate group (with skills I personally envy) works on the digital side of Campus Archaeology. Using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) members input the location of our digs on to real satellite images of the area. This creates a multilayered map with extensive information on the site. At current, these maps show the location of all our shovel tests (ST) (a surveying technique where a small pit is dug to sample the area). Each shovel test is associated with the archaeological project site it is within, who dug it, and a positive or negative indication of whether finds were collected. This process helps us located the areas of early activity on Michigan State’s campus.
So far these two important processes have been separated. While the rain has kept us off site and stuck indoors, we have been inspired to initiate an integration of the two forms of analysis into one helpful mapping system. Our goal is to create a more robust and useful purpose for the Campus Archaeology Program’s GIS maps. The result of this will be the creation of a way to integrate the catalogue of artifacts into the map.
In order to represent the artifacts in the GIS system our team needed to come up with a list of artifact types that not only fully incorporates the variety and cultural relevance, but also is not overwhelming to the system. This took a rather tedious meeting and lots of debate in order to develop the shortest and most complete list. We debated whether we should focus on broad types such as pottery or metal, or more specific types like whiteware, stoneware or pearlware. A second debate was whether we should assess them by presence or absence, a technique that works well if something is broken within the pit, or by the frequency of finds, which works well with lots of little artifacts. We also debated how to classify artifacts, like whether we should separate items by function or material used, which becomes problematic with items like buttons that are all different materials but same function. We came up with a semi-finalized list of around 25 artifact types will be inputted in to the GIS system. From here, each ST will be associated with either a presence/absence or item amount for each of the 25 types.
Once this is done we will be able to use the GIS maps to show where artifacts were collected, and further look at the location and concentrations of artifacts by statistical analyses. This process, which is one of the most intensive off site projects, will with all hopes be fruitful to the knowledge of your Campus Archaeology Team.
Landon Construction, via MSU Archives and Historical Records
This summer CAP has the opportunity to again look for the site of the Faculty Row buildings located where Landon Hall currently is as well as artifacts that might give us insights into early student life. Cowles House is the only building left of the Faculty Row buildings that ran along West Circle Drive from almost the beginning of MSU to the 1930s-40s. Landon Hall was built in 1947-1948 on the site of two of the Faculty Row buildings. As former Campus Archaeologist Terry Brock stated in an earlier CAP blog post from 2009: “Previous archaeological work done by CAP has investigated the sites of the other Faculty Row buildings, located where Landon and Campbell Hall are now located, but there were no intact archaeological deposits.” With the removal of asphalt and concrete behind Landon Hall this summer to renovate and enlarge Landon’s dining hall, CAP will again have a chance to investigate this area that has been so important to the development of Michigan State University.
Linda Landon in the Linton Hall Library, via MSU Archives and Historical Records
The dorms that make up West Circle Dormitory complex are all name for women that have made important contributions to MSU. Landon Hall was named for Linda Eoline Landon the first female instructor and the first female librarian at MSU. According to the Board of Trustees minutes from 1891, Linda’s first salary as a librarian was for $500 a year. This was during the time that the library was in Linton Hall which was also the administration building. Linda oversaw the library from its time in Linton to when it was in the current MSU Museum. For 30 years Linda was also the person that put the ribbons on diplomas. She was beloved by her students which is shown in the 1912 yearbook which was dedicated to her for “tutoring thousands of students in the art of appreciating, loving, and valuing these true friends in life – books”.
Landon Hall has a particular personal interest to me as my mother Karen Moon Schaefer (known as a student by her maiden name Karen Moon) lived in Landon as a student from 1966 till her graduation in 1969. She served as Landon Hall’s President in 1969 and therefore sat on the Women’s Inter-residence Council which was made up of all of the presidents of the women’s residence halls.
Landon Hall has four floors and an “H” shape to it with the east wing smaller than the west wing and the middle hall extending slightly beyond both the west and east wings. In the center of the building on the ground floor is the cafeteria that is being expanded this summer. In the cafeteria there are terra cotta reliefs that where created by Professor Leonard Jungwirth who also created Sparty (Standford and Dewhurst 2002:67). Landon was a female only dorm but now is co-ed. My mother told me stories that during her time there if a boy was in the dorm on her floor the girls would yell out “Boy on the floor!” to the rest of the girls so the girls would know not to leave their rooms in robes, curlers or other states of undress that they wouldn’t want a boy to see.
My own personal connection to Landon Hall drove me to volunteer to investigate the history of Landon for CAPs when it was offered. What I found makes me hopeful that our investigation this summer will be successful. As well I am proud to be a student at a university that from its beginning has recognized the women that have been a cornerstone of its success.
Brock, Terry. September 9, 2009 Survey Spot: Cowles House. CAP Blog, http://campusarch.msu.edu/?p=158
Stanford, Linda and C. Kurt Dewhurst. 2002 MSU Campus: Buildings, Places, Spaces. The Michigan State University Press, East Lansing, MI
Summer 2013 has provided MSU’s campus community with many changes. While students are partaking in various summer activities away from campus, MSU has push forwarded with various construction projects to revamp an aging campus infrastructure. Returning students in the fall may not recognize parts of the campus that they left in the spring. In particular, campus north of the Red Cedar has been subjected to various projects throughout these spring and summer months. This means that MSU’s Campus Archaeology Program has been out in full force ensuring that MSU’s rich historical past is preserved and to make sure that we mitigate any potential damage.
Shovel testing near Saints Rest, via Katy Meyers
On this particular day, we found ourselves working on around fifteen shovel test pits, while monitoring and documenting the continued demolition of Morrill Hall. The area we focused on was a small grass triangle formed by sidewalk borders that were due to be taken up in the next week for reconstruction. This location was of importance to us due to the proximity it had with both the original dorm, Saint’s Rest, and the second dorm, Old Williams Hall. The area of interest is located next to the MSU Museum and the MSU Museum parking lot. The modern day grass triangle is located to southeast of where the Old Williams Hall existed and to the southwest of where Saint’s Rest existed. A potential prime spot for historical artifact concentrations.
Our initial shovel tests (STs) began closes to the east part of the museum and its parking lot, or the west part of the triangle. Most of our test pits showed regular stratigraphy and small or no artifact densities. As we moved to the east of the triangle, closer to Saint’s Rest, we began encountering higher artifact densities. Our test pits closes to Saint’s Rest provided interesting finds. One test pit provided evidence of animal butchering, while another had a high enough concentration of whiteware, stoneware, pipe pieces, and glass that we decided that we should open it up to a one meter by one meter test unit.
Artifacts found from ST near Saints Rest, via Katy Meyers
As we dug the test unit, the concentration of artifacts began to wane. This high concentration was only present in the A horizon and the very top of the B horizon. Once we made our way through this artifact concentration we came upon some unique, linear soil lines. One line, separated the north third of the unit from the middle third. The north third of the unit was the natural B horizon, a dark orange loam. This was right next to the middle third of the unit, which was a light tan fill. The south third of the unit was the same as the middle third but had been mostly removed by the original STP. This strange anomaly left us contemplating what might have caused this. Original thoughts were that prior excavations had all ready happened in this area. Why would there be such a distinct, linear line?
Distinct soil difference in the test unit, via Katy Meyers
As the modern day archaeologists that we are, we decided to turn to Twitter to see if our follow archaeologists could help us solve this mystery. With the help of past Campus Archaeologist Terry Brock, we were able to determine that the light tan fill of the middle third and south third of the unit was likely due to a backhoe, presumably for a utility trench. To make sure that we were not dealing with a feature of a different kind, we put in test pits about half a meter to the north and south of our test unit. Both of these units had little to no artifact densities, as well as a natural stratigraphy. These final two STP’s helped support the idea that the soil lines in the test unit we were dealing with were due to a utility line disturbance.
Taking notes and measurements in the field
As anyone even remotely connected to the field of archaeology can tell you, we record EVERYTHING. Note-taking and record-keeping is just as much a part of archaeology as the iconic trowel, perhaps even more so! Archaeologists must keep track of and record as much as possible at the dig site, everything from location, maps and diagrams, weather, time, spatial distribution, artifacts found, soil types, color, and stratigraphy (and even this list is nowhere near exhaustive). All of this seemingly excessive record-keeping is an effort by archaeologists to preserve what we are excavating as best as possible. Archaeology is a destructive discipline, and by that I mean, as we excavate, we destroy the very archaeological record we are seeking to understand, and because of that, it is absolutely crucial that we record as much as possible to be able to recreate and study the dig site after excavation. Good note keeping is also very helpful to anyone looking at and potentially working with a project in the future.
I spent much of the last semester learning the basics of GIS (Geographic Information Systems) as a volunteer with the Campus Archaeology Program. It was my job to go through field notebooks from past projects and field schools and enter all of the data into the GIS. Where the project took place, what was done (shovel test pits or excavation units), who was on the team, when the project happened, and whether or not artifacts were found all goes into the GIS, and my work rested entirely on the notes of past Campus Archaeologists, Field School assistants and attendees, and volunteers. Trying to match hand drawn maps to a physical location on a satellite image of campus takes some practice, and it can be even further complicated when two different maps from two separate people working on the same project contradict each other. Differences in the field journals of individuals all working on the same project made gathering a complete picture of the project and what went on very difficult at times. Often times though, I had to deal with the lack of recorded data, missing dates, STPs on the maps that had no data associated with them, and not knowing who was excavating. That resulted in a scramble through many additional notebooks from Field School students in hopes of finding the missing data. Piecing together past archaeological projects for present-day digitization is a lot like detective work and again, relies on the record-keeping of those involved in the project.
This summer, as part of the CAP survey team, I am again in charge of entering all of our projects into the GIS, and I can tell you first-hand that doing it immediately after a project you just participated in is a whole different story. Not only do you have memory of what went on and where, but being present also gives you some control over the record-keeping for the project, especially knowing that later it has to be entered into the computer. My task became so much easier working from projects that I had worked on within the few weeks prior. After seeing just how troublesome even a couple of small discrepancies in field notebooks can be, I definitely understand how important note taking is in the field, and that was just from doing GIS work, I can hardly imagine trying to study a past archaeological project that was the victim of poor record-keeping!
So for those aspiring to be archaeologists, I have one piece of advice for you: develop good and consistent note taking skills!
Michigan State University’s landscape is consistently changing. The area north of the Museum and west of Linton hall, known as the sacred space, is a great example of this. Although no buildings have been built within this space the changing of the roads from inside the space to outside the space was one of the major changes altering the size and appearance of campus. This change, which is suspected to have occurred in the late 1920s, is the focus of one of Campus Archaeology’s current investigations. What we are looking for is how the original road was laid within the sacred space in front of William’s Hall one of the first dorms.
Photo from the late 19th c of Williams Hall and the fountain, road and sidewalk in old positions can be seen, via MSU Masterplan
Preliminary investigations involved comparing archival data such as pictures and maps. We looked to compare the location of the road based on two structures: the fountain between Linton and Museum and the Museum itself, which is believed to stand directly on top of the old William’s Hall. You can see in the image below that the road was to the right and the sidewalk to the left. Today the sidewalk sits to the right of the fountain.
It was made clear that the road followed a curve from the west entrance of Linton Hall to the north side of the old William’s Hall via the north side of the fountain. This is drastically different from the roads and sidewalks we see today.
The old roadways of MSU, road goes within the Sacred Space and buildings whereas today it is on the outside of the buildings, via MSU Masterplan
To investigate the location of the road a test pit was dug in the green space 7 meters north of the northeast edge of the Museum. Recovered from this pit were multiple layers of road materials from a gravel layer followed by a layer large river rocks and a subsequent layer of chunks of granite (about 15 cm x 6 cm) and clay. As this was the expected location of the road the layers of road materials confirmed the location. Now we ask the broader questions: “What did this road look like?”, “How wide was it?”, “Where did it curve?”, and “What was it made of?”.
To further investigate we went back to the archives searching for pictures of the road to help identify its composition. Archival research showed that in the past a process called macadam was used in which “crushed stone surfaces, 6 to 10 inches thick, were merely bound by dirt and clay” (ASCE, 2013) As this older technique was widely used it is extremely possible the lowest granite and clay layer is campus’s old road.
Men laying a macadam road, via Highway Online
Today we open up a section to explore the layering of this area in hopes to answer these questions. If we find that this layer of granite and clay reaches out further we will be able to confirm this is the old macadam road and further test pit to see its boundaries.
American Society of Civil Engineers. 2013. “Macadam Roads”. http://www.asce-sf.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=252&Itemid=79 accessed 5/20/13
Morrill Hall on fire, Fire department attempts to stop it, photo by Bethany Slon
Casual Wednesday night, I was sitting at my friend’s house scrolling through twitter on my iPhone (can you say 21st century girl?) when I saw that the State News had tweeted that Morrill Hall was on fire. I was out of the door and on my way to Morrill faster than you can say that’s-my-favorite-building-on-campus. By the time I had gotten there the flames had been extinguished, but the top of the building continued to smoke, and the caution tape surrounding the area was enough to paper a whole library (that is, if books were made from caution tape). Luckily, as the building has been being prepped for demolition, no one was in the building when the fire started around 7pm, and no one was injured. The roof of the four-story building had fallen through all the way to the first floor, and as of the writing of this blog, the cause of the fire is yet to be determined.
Morrill Hall is, in fact, my favorite building on campus, and since doing research on it as an intern for Campus Archaeology in the fall of 2012, I’ve grown quite attached to it. If you’ve read any of my other blogs, you’ll already know that Morrill Hall was built in 1900 and was then called the Women’s Building. It was the first dormitory for the women of Michigan Agricultural College (later to become Michigan State University), and it included everything from bedrooms to culinary and woodshop classrooms to even a two-story gym. Eventually the amount of women enrolled in the college far exceeded the amount of dorm rooms available in the Women’s Building, and the name of the building was changed to Morrill Hall and the rooms were converted into offices and classrooms, most recently that of the English and History departments. The women were placed in other dorms, most in what are now called the West Circle dorms, but Morrill Hall continued to thrive through the use of professors and students.
Demolition at Morrill Hall beginning with the stairs, Photo by Katy Meyers
Unfortunately, Morrill is no longer what it used to be – one hundred and thirteen years has really taken its toll on the building. The floors are sagging and before the departments were moved to other locations on campus, professors had to line the walls with books to ensure that there was equalizing weight on the floors. In 1990 the ceiling of the first floor collapsed into the basement, and that was only the beginning of the building’s unfortunate demise. The ceilings leak, the ventilation is extremely poor, asbestos can be found around every corner, and the amount of bats that fly around the building when the sun goes down is enough to give anyone a spook. As far as the university could see, there was no other solution than to demolish the building, which was scheduled to happen early this June.
However, since the fire, demolition has been postponed. Until officials know what caused the flames, the building is being treated as a crime scene, meaning our work with Campus Archaeology on the Morrill Hall front is also postponed. Personally, I think it’s sort of fitting that some of Morrill’s last moments were spent on fire. Many of the other original buildings and dorms on campus have also gone up in flame; Williams Hall in 1919, Saint’s Rest in 1876, Old Botany Building in 1892, the original Engineering building in 1916, and the original Wells Hall in 1905.
Engineering Building on fire in 1916, via MSU Archives and Historical Records
Don’t get me wrong, it was incredibly sad to stand there and watch the beauty that is Morrill Hall smoke for over an hour, but it’s almost as if there was something bigger going on last night – a pattern of some sort that the campus continues to uphold. I realize that sounds sort of morbid and strange, but hey, there’s some truth in it.
If you’re in East Lansing for the summer, be sure to take a walk by the red-bricked building and say your last goodbyes. Morrill – you’ve held up strong for over a century, and we’ll sure be sad to see you go.
We’ve been out doing our first two weeks of excavation at Jenison Field House and within West Circle Drive. So far we’ve found a number of interesting artifacts including an old gin bottle from brooklyn and a layer of burnt bricks possibly related to the Old Williams Hall. Before we get too far into the season, here are some introductions to our summer team!
Bethany, Josh, Katie and Marie from right to left at Jenison Field House (Katy out of the frame because she was taking the photo!)
Katy Meyers: I have been the Campus Archaeologist for two years, and this will be my last summer in this position. Over the past two years heading up the CAP teams I have excavated across the campus, gotten to do a dig at the first dormitory at MSU (Saints Rest) and excavated the Morrill Boiler Building found under East Circle Drive. In addition to this, I am currently a 3rd year PhD graduate student in Anthropology at MSU, and my research focus is on bi-ritual cemeteries in the UK. I got my start in archaeology through video games like Tomb Raider, and summer trips to my parent’s cabin where I got the chance to run up and down a gully finding fossils and early 20th century artifacts from the early cabins in the area. While my research does focus on cemeteries and funerary processes, I have done work on a number of historic and prehistoric sites throughout the Midwest and Northeast. I have truly loved being part of Campus Archaeology because it allows me to add to the history of MSU, and help create connections between the current and past campus.
Katie Scharra: I am a recent graduate of Michigan State University. Originally, I began a program in Microbiology. After travelling during my sophomore and junior years to Europe and exploring different cultures I had a change of interests. I wanted to look for an academic program that took my interest in science and applied it more culturally. This brought me into the Anthropology department where I began to study mortuary archaeology. In the future, I would like to apply both my microbiology and anthropology degrees with a PhD in Bioarchaeology. In order to gain experience in field methods and to keep up my archaeology skills during my current gap year I joined the Campus Archaeology team. Over the past year, I have worked on a few digs across campus and worked with the artifacts. In the spring I was involved with cleaning and interpreting the artifacts recovered from the October 2012 excavation of Saint’s Rest, the first dormitory on campus. During this project, a partner and I organized the finds in to a classification based on use (i.e. home goods, school items, building materials). This allowed to us to have a look in to the more realistic lives of the first Spartans. We presented our findings and the 2013 University Undergraduate’s Research Forum. This summer I am looking forward to continuing investigation into the changing landscapes and lifestyles of campus.
Bethany Slon: I am an undergraduate student majoring in Anthropology, and this fall I will be starting my senior year at Michigan State University, anticipating graduation in December. I started working with Campus Archaeology in the summer of 2012 as a volunteer, and the following fall semester I began work as an intern under the direction of Dr. Goldstein and Katy Meyers. My research involved looking at the early years of the Women’s Building (now called Morrill Hall) and gathering information about the first female students who lived in this dorm. The MSU archives was very useful with my study; they provided me with scrapbooks made by the female residents of the Women’s Building, in addition to maps, photos, and plenty of other information. I eventually presented this information at the University Undergraduate Research and Arts Forum, linking it to Campus Archaeology and what the demolition of Morrill Hall means to us. This summer I am working again with Campus Archaeology, this time to monitor construction and make sure nothing of historical or archeological value is destroyed or missed. I eventually want to become a bioarchaeologist, specializing in Central American locations. I’ll be attending MSU’s Dr. Wrobel’s field school this summer in Belize, where I will be doing research on caries of the ancient Mayan population that used to live there, giving me both experience and knowledge I’ll need for the future. Graduate school is also in the plans for me, though where I’ll be going is yet to be decided. Archaeology has always been a passion of mine, and I am lucky to have found this experience with Campus Archaeology, both to broaden my skills as an archaeologist and to do what I love.
Josh Schnell: I am a freshman here at MSU, majoring in Anthropology and Religious Studies, with a specialization in Latin American Studies. I have been working with Campus Archaeology since February of 2013 when I began an internship learning how to use Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software in an archaeological context. This summer, as a member of the Campus Archaeology Survey Team I will be digging during and monitoring various construction projects to ensure our campus’ cultural heritage is not lost. I am an aspiring bioarchaeologist with a strong interest in mortuary practices, and I also volunteer in MSU’s bioarchaeology lab. A strong fascination with ancient cultures is what first drew me to archaeology as a potential career in middle school, and ever since then I have been dedicated to protecting, investigating, and educating others about our past. As President and Webmaster of the Undergraduate Anthropology Club at MSU, I have a strong interest in building a social foundation and creating an environment where other anthropology students can learn, collaborate, and help each other. I hope that through working with the Campus Archaeology Program this summer I will gain experience in conducting Cultural Resource Management work in the field, as well as expand upon general archaeological field skills.
Marie Schaefer: I come to the Campus Archeology Program from a more cultural anthropology background. However, I have always thought to be a good anthropologist you need to have a least a basic understanding of all the subfields of anthropology (cultural, archeological, linguistics, biological). This is especially true if you are going to be working with any Native American tribes or conducting any applied anthological projects in which you might be working with anthropologists and others from all different backgrounds. As a result, I have searched out opportunities to gain an understanding of the different perspectives of anthropology. After graduating from Eastern Michigan University with a BS in anthropology I went to Northern Arizona University for my masters where I had the opportunity to conduct a needs and asset assessment with Hopi women for the Hopi Cultural Preservation Office on why Hopi women’s traditional knowledge is not being passed down to the next generation and suggestions on how to stem the tide of this knowledge loss. Currently I am in the PhD program in anthropology at Michigan State University with a very applied focus to my work which focuses on how indigenous knowledge and Western scientific knowledge can be integrated in order to assist in the creation of sustainable futures for indigenous people. The CAP program offers me a unique opportunity to not only learn more about the amazing history of a land grant university but also to gain a deeper understanding of the work of anthropologists in order to serve as a bridge between tribes and archeologists.
The last two weeks began our first official start to summer survey and excavation. We have lots of projects this summer to juggle, so we will be bouncing around campus trying to get to them all. Here are some updates from the work we did last week and a couple announcements about where we will be this week.
Bethany and Josh doing some survey at Jenison Field House last week
Two Weeks Ago: Jenison Field House
During this first week of summer survey we did shovel testing in the green areas to the north and west of Jenison field house. We also did a quick walking survey along the river to check for artifacts.
Last Week: Training for New Peoples, Jenison Field House, Adams Field Sidewalks and Training for FRIB
Our week began with a training day for all the new workers, other then myself we have a completely new team from the one we had last year. Our new team includes two undergraduate students, a graduate student and alumni of the Anthropology department. We did a historic tour of campus and visited each of the construction sites we will be working on this summer. Following this, we discussed the summer and went other the proper methods for doing Campus Archaeology summer work.
The work began at Jenison Field House. They are replacing the parking lot and sidewalks here, but we only need to survey the latter. In preparation for this we did some survey around the area, checking out the green space between the sidewalks. We didn’t find anything exciting but we did get interviewed by Channel 10 news!
Bethany and Katie shovel testing at Adams Field
Our next day of work we were out at Adams Field checking out the sidewalks between the Music Building and Cowles House. They are currently replacing the sidewalks in this area with new ‘green’ sidewalks that are made of recycled MSU glass. You can learn more about this cool initiative here: “Even the concrete is green“. Again, we didn’t find too much although there were some nice square cut nails and a portion of an industrial clay pipe.
Our week ended with us doing a safety training with FRIB (Facility for Rare Isotope Beam). As you can tell driving down Wilson by Bogue, they are working hard to move forward on constructing their new buildings. We will be working with them on a number of projects, but right now we are monitoring their progress on creating the power source for the buildings. It is an exciting project to be a part of, and we are looking forward to it.
This Upcoming Week: Jenison Field House and MSU Museum Sidewalks
This week we have two projects we will be jumping between. The first is the Jenison parking lot where we will be starting to survey underneath the sidewalks. We will be beginning this project today around 12pm and will be out there for the afternoon. Then tomorrow and the next day we will be in the Sacred Space area to the North of the MSU Museum working on sidewalks and potentially checking out some green space if we have time.
As always, feel free to come out and visit us, and follow our progress on twitter @capmsu! Just look for the green flag!
This academic year has been enlightening and challenging for me. I dove into continuing a specific project that explores the heart of campus at MSU. I used archival evidence to glean the social, structural and spacial landscape of campus throughout the four time periods of the first 100 years of campus. Using scrapbooks, administration correspondence, and annual reports, I analyzed the changes in campus over time and how different buildings were used and how these buildings represent where MSU was developmentally and in social context with the rest of the state and country. For each time period, the spaces selected to represent the center of campus were: 1855-1870- College Hall and Saints’ Rest, 1870-1900- The Sacred Space, 1900-1925- Red Cedar River, and 1925-1955- Beaumont Tower.
Sabrina presenting the poster she created with Katy at the Graduate Academic conference in February 2013, via Katy Meyers
I was able to work with Katy Meyers to create a poster that outlined the archaeological and archival evidence for these choices and presented it at the Graduate Academic Conference here at MSU. The poster gathered attention and praise from various graduate students and visitors, and was judged very highly. It was a great way to allow others to visualize the expansion of campus over time and what events propagated the growth. It also invited viewers to chime in on where they experience the heart of campus today, which gleaned a variety of results, perhaps demonstrating that the diversity on campus may allow for several “hearts” of campus.
My next task is to sort through all of the data I submerged myself in and try to make sense of what these spaces say about MSU in general and how they indicate who we are today and where we are going. I will continue working on my final report that supplements a previous paper written by a CAP student and will expand on the poster we presented. I will also input all of the scrapbook data into our database, which will hopefully allow for future CAP fellows to easily survey the types of evidence housed in the archives.
Participating in Science Festival was another big project this year; I was able to be an ambassador for the archaeology program and Campus Archaeology to some young and ambitious junior high school students. It was invaluable to utilize that avenue to reach the community and inform them of all the things CAP is involved in on our historic campus. Hopefully events like this will draw more involvement from future students and community organizations in all of the important work we do.
I was lucky to be able to participate in surveys on campus, something I may never have been able to take part in. These really grounded me in a sense of place on campus which often times felt enormous and contributed to my analysis in my project.
Though I am not an archaeologist, this year provided me with diverse experiences and methodology that I can perhaps utilize in my future research, and all of the projects enriched my learning and graduate experience. I want to thank Dr. Goldstein for her guidance and vision as well as Katy for all of her support and ideas. It was a pleasure to work with you and each of the CAP fellows this year.