Urban Public Archaeology of the Washington, D.C. Region

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  • Documents (11)

  • 21st Century Methods for a 19th Century World: GIS, Geophysical Survey, and Geoarchaeology in Washington, D.C. (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Charde Reid.

    New and non-traditional techniques such as the geographic information system (GIS), geophysical survey, and geoarchaeology show great promise for investigating changing landscapes and urban deposition patterns. The Washington, D.C. Historic Preservation Office has begun implementing these non-invasive techniques as part of most Phase I investigations, especially in highly-developed areas. They are a cost-effective, efficient, and fast ways to identify areas of fill, buried stream channels,...

  • The Bioarchaeology of the Columbian Harmony Cemetery Collection (51NE049), Washington, D.C. (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Dana D. Kollmann.

    The Bioarchaeology of the Columbian Harmony Cemetery Series (51NE049), Washington, D.C. Archaeological investigations on a portion of the Columbian Harmony Cemetery in Washington, D.C. resulted in the identification of 231 grave features, many of which had been disturbed by a cemetery relocation project that took place in 1960. Information obtained from skeletal and dental analyses have provided information on 19th and early 20th century patterns of burial, postmortem treatment (i.e., embalming...

  • The Church on the Hill: Inter-related Narratives, Conflicting Priorities, and the Power of Community Engagement (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Lyle Torp. Matthew Palus.

    Fort Stevens is a well-known fort within the Civil War Defenses of Washington. Prior to the Civil War, the land was owned by Betsey Butler, a free black woman, who sold the land to the trustees of Emory Chapel in 1855 for the construction of a church. The church was razed for the construction of Fort Massachusetts in 1861, which was later expanded and renamed Fort Stevens in 1863. The congregation rebuilt the church following the Civil War. The context of the Emory Church is entwined with the...

  • In Search Of....The Lost Kilns Of St. Elizabeths Hospital (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Paul P. Kreisa. Nancy Powell. Geri Knight-Iske.

    St. Elizabeths Hospital was championed by Dorthea Dix during the 1840s-50s as a model hospital for the treatment of the mentally ill. Starting in 2005, Stantec has conducted archaeological investigations at the Department of Homeland Security’s new home on the Hospital’s West Campus. One of the persistent questions we are asked is: "Where were the kilns?" Annual progress reports to Congress mention the presence of "kilns" but give no clue as to their number, location, or nature.  Various field...

  • Landscape Archaeology at St. Elizabeths Hospital West Campus (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Geri J Knight-Iske. Paul Kreisa. Nancy L. Powell.

    St. Elizabeths Hospital was championed by Dorthea Dix as a model hospital for the treatment of the mentally ill. One of the tenants of the moral treatment philosophy, the guiding principle of the initial 40 years of hospital operations, was that access to calm, natural or park-like settings was essential to patients’ recovery. However, as a former plantation and as a working farm through the 1880s, a tension emerged between principles and practicalities. GIS-based modelling and 10 years of...

  • Making the Inaccessible Accessible: Public Archaeology at a 19th-Century Bathhouse in Alexandria, Virginia (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Catherine M Cartwright.

    This paper examines Alexandria Archaeology’s foray into broadcasting archaeological excavations and findings through videos and social media. When excavations began at a well discovered by chance in the basement of a private residence, city archaeologists took a social media approach to reach and educatate the public about a site otherwise be inaccessible to them. Video updates of the excavation posted online allowed followers to witness the process of archaeological discovery and...

  • Prayer for Relief: Archeological Excavations within a Portion of the Columbian Harmony Cemetery (Site 51NE049), Washington, D.C. (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only boyd sipe.

    The Columbian Harmony Cemetery was established in the mid-19th century to serve the District’s African American community and continued in use until 1960 when approximately 37,000 burials were exhumed and remains were re-interred in the National Harmony Memorial Park in Landover, Maryland.  However, the burial removal process at Columbian Harmony Cemetery was not complete; not all burials were exhumed and re-interred.  Headstones and other cemetery monuments, entire coffins, coffin fragments and...

  • The Rise of the Cedars: 2014-2015 Investigations at the Cox Farm in Georgetown (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Nancy L. Powell. Paul Kreisa. Geri Knight-Iske.

    In 2014 the District Public Schools began extensive construction and renovation of the Duke Ellington School of the Arts, the former Western High School. Portions of the building date to the last decade of the 19th century, the former location of The Cedars residence, the home of the Cox family. The few photographs and descriptions of The Cedars were thought to be all that remained due to the construction of the school.  Stantec and EHT Traceries undertook archaeological and archival...

  • The Search for Yarrow Mamout in Georgetown: A Preliminary Assessment (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Mia L Carey.

    What happens when a concerned citizen notifies the D.C. City Archaeologist that a possible historic human burial is threated with disturbance on privately owned property? This paper outlines the archaeological survey conducted between June and August 2015 to answer this question. The possible human burial is that of Yarrow Mamout, a Muslim slave who purchased property at what is now 3324 Dent Place, NW, in Upper Georgetown in 1800 and lived there until his death in 1823. Mamout became famous...

  • Shields’s Folly: A Tavern and Bathhouse in Old Town, Alexandria, Virginia (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Garrett Fesler. Paul Nasca.

    Alexandria Archaeology recently completed excavation of a 12 ft. deep well feature located in the basement of a historic building in the Old Town section of Alexandria, Virginia.  The artifacts recovered from the well indicate that it was filled ca. 1820, when Thomas Shields operated the property as a tavern and bathhouse.  Shields most likely dug the well in order to draw water directly from the premises instead of hauling water from a public pump down the street.  Alas, the story does not have...

  • Spiritual Wayfarers and Enslaved African Muslims: New insights into Yarrow Mamout, Muslim Slaves and American Pluralism (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Muhammad Fraser-Rahim.

    This paper will examine the encounter between Africa, Islam and American history in the antebellum period of the U.S from first hand accounts of enslaved Africans. Yarrow Mamout was a Muslim Fulani enslaved in 1752, and manumitted in 1796. He purchased property in Georgetown in 1800, and there is currently an archaeological investigation on his former property. Using original Arabic documents, this research explores the spirituality, literacy and religious tolerance of enslaved African Muslims...