During archaeological excavations, some of the most ubiquitous artifacts unearthed are ceramic sherds that were once part of bowls, plates, vases, or other decorative pieces. It is relatively easy to appreciate the skills and techniques that go into the creation of meticulously crafted ceramic vessels. …
When COVID hit our campus, CAP was forced to rethink how we perform our community outreach. We needed new, innovative ways to engage and educate the public without requiring them to meet in large groups. One of the ways we did this was to transition …
Here at Campus Archaeology, we love outreach – just this past week, we presented at both Michigan Archaeology Day and at our annual Apparitions and Archaeology Tour! (Thank you to those who stopped by!) We love outreach so much because we are passionate about archaeology and MSU’s history that we can’t help but find ways to connect with our local community here so we can all understand and learn about our history together.
However, over the past year and a half, we’ve had to adjust our events – some were cancelled while others were transitioned to an online setting. In fact, we have only started back in person this semester and still have certain protocols in place to protect us and those that come to our events. And this has been a different experience for us, as we usually love the opportunity to answer questions and listen to stories from our participants. But during this process, we learned a lot more about tools available for online learning and how we can engage with all of you in a new way!
I (Rhian) got to work with our Campus Archaeologist, Jeff Burnett, last year to create the Virtual Haunted Tour twine. I had never encountered Twine before, but loved how we could create an interactive exhibit that provides more information than we are able to do in person! Plus, we could incorporate more primary sources of photos and information available through the university archives! I personally learned a lot making the Twine and I’m hopeful that others felt the same way when reading it.
Based on this experience, I started to think about how we could use digital outreach again this year as an educational tool for those who are interested in learning more about the process of archaeology. I am in the forensic anthropology program here at MSU and while I knew the methodology for forensic archaeology, I joined CAP specifically to get more experience with traditional archaeological methods – both in the field and in the lab. Now that I’m getting more familiar with the nuances of archaeology, I wanted to create a tool to help others out there like me, who also want to learn about archaeology!
So I am teaming up with another CAP Fellow, Aubree Marshall, to create a new Twine tool for learning archaeology! We will be creating two different Twines:
The first Twine will guide our users through one of our more famous excavations: Saints’ Rest! While many of you may be familiar with this site, as we found many exciting artifacts at this site, we will walk you through each step of the process over the years and why we used certain methods, tools, or protocols. We hope this can help everyone understand why we process sites in a formalized way – and how that helps us to preserve the context and association of the artifacts we find and understand their historical significance!
The second Twine will be a choose-your-own-adventure format! Based on an excavation we did this summer at Spartan Village, we will provide a practice scenario for all of you: at each step of the process, we will provide you with the information we are typically given regarding a site (e.g., MSU’s construction crews were digging and hit a bunch of artifacts!) and you will be able to choose what you should do in response (e.g., go out now, wait one hour, start in the morning, etc.). In this way, you will understand how we make choices as how to excavate a site without delaying construction while still doing our best to preserve the history of our campus.
Twine is often used for interactive fantasy/role player games online where players can choose their own character and then decide what path they choose in a hope to win the game! Because of its success in that format, we believe this choose-your-own-archaeology-adventure will be a great learning tool as anyone who goes through our Twine will learn via experience!
We will be working on writing the script for the Twines this semester and will begin piecing together the html code next semester – hopefully these will be available for next summer and we can’t wait to make them available for all of you!!
Campus Archaeology (CAP) has always been heavily centered around community engagement. We have several standing outreach events that we participate in every year, such as our annual Apparitions and Archaeology Haunted Campus Tour, Grandparents University, various public-school events, and Archaeology Day at the Michigan History …
Even during a quarantine, archaeology does not stop. While we have not been able to get out into the field until recently, we at CAP have been working hard to create historical background summaries of areas that will be impacted by construction (a critical part of archaeology, as it helps us to understand what might be impacted and what we might find in the field) as well as develop new outreach activities that can be done at home. One method through which we can share our work are story maps, created using the open access StoryMapJS tool created by Northwestern University’s Knight Lab.
Today, we wish to share with you a StoryMap that tells the tale of Faculty Row, a historic neighborhood that once occupied part of MSU’s campus. As you can probably tell from the name, this neighborhood served as a home for the permanent faculty and staff, before the development of East Lansing. While it was a home for faculty, Faculty Row was also a central hub of activity on the early campus, as there were few other diversions for students in those days. Faculty often invited students into their homes, and students often included Faculty Row in their yearly rituals, such as serenading Faculty Row as part of the night shirt parade (Kuhn 1955:210). In this story, we provide you with some of this background, as well as highlight each home that was part of Faculty Row.
You can find our StoryMap, “A Tour of MSU’s Historic Faculty Row,” by clicking here and under the “digital cultural heritage” tab on our website. We hope you enjoy it, and we hope that next time you are on West Circle Drive you are able to imagine the sleepy college neighborhood that once stood there.
Author: Jeff Painter
1955 Michigan State: The First Hundred Years. The Michigan State University Press, East Lansing.
To celebrate world anthropology day, the current CAP graduate fellows wanted to share how they became interested in anthropology, and some current or favorite projects they are involved in! Grace: As a first-year PhD student moving to a new state and school, I initially came …
Last Tuesday, November 12, 2019, Campus Archaeology hosted their first Open House. For two hours, Campus Archaeology opened our lab doors to the public. Campus Archaeology strives to have a standing relationship with the community through our numerous outreach events each year, as well as …
Next week is the annual Midwest Archaeological Conference (October 10-12, 2019) in Mankato, MN. Below is a list of dates and times of all MSU presentations. This includes past, present, and retired MSU graduate students and faculty. Included is a poster on the Campus Archaeology Oral History project that you should check out!
This blog post will be updated as more schedule information is provided.
Friday, October 11th
9:30 am – 11:30 pm Poster Symposium
Settlement/Landscape and Artifact Studies
- Sean Dunham:
- If it’s a good place to camp…
1:30 pm – 2:30 pm Paper Symposium
Studies in Historical Archaeology
- Jessica Yann
- Eighteenth Century Trade and Politics of the Potawatomi of the St. Joseph & Kankakee River Valleys
Saturday, October 12th
9:00 am – 12:00 pm Paper Symposium
Applications of Advanced Technology in Archaeology
- Geoffrey Jones and Nikki Klarmann (MSU):
- Magnetic Susceptibility Reconnaissance at the Tobias Site
9:30 am – 11:30 pm Poster Symposium
Archaeological Practice and Bioarchaeology
- Autumn Painter and A.L. McMichael:
- Campus as Laboratory: An Oral History of MSU’s Campus Archaeology Program
9:30 am – 11:30 pm Paper Symposium
Ritual as Function and Process in Midcontinental Pit Features
- Sean Dunham:
- Pits as Place: An exploration of the socio-cultural significance of cache pits
1:30 pm – 3:00 pm Paper Symposium
Plants, Animals, and People
- William A. Lovis, G. William Monaghan†, Daniel R. Hayes, Kathryn C. Egan-Bruhy, with contributions by Jessica L. Yann:
- Floodplain Cucurbit Dispersal during the Late Woodland Period ca. 974-1150 cal AD: An Example from the Detroit River, Michigan (or) “Bill’s Seed”.
- Jeffrey Painter:
- Cooking Up a Common Ground: Vessel Use and Social Interactions at Morton Village
Author: Autumn Painter
Campus Archaeology had an exciting summer field season, from the archaeological field school to field crew work across campus. We also hosted a class for Grandparent’s University and painted the MSU Rock! Below you can read more about each project. Archaeological Field School This summer …