Archaeology And The Urban Landscape

Part of: Society for Historical Archaeology 2018

Archaeology within urban landscapes has become increasingly commonplace within the last few decades. As more and more intact urban sites are discovered, it has become apparent that standard archaeological techniques in the form of surface surveys, hand excavation of test units, and remote sensing are often ineffective. Instead, extensive archival research and deep block excavations are imperative for urban archaeology. Safety concerns, such as hazardous waste and the dangers of excavating deep features, also need to be considered. Another dilemma concerns coping with the vast quantity of cultural remains recovered from urban features. This symposium will focus on methods for identifying buried remains and examine various issues involved with archaeological investigations in an urban context.

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  • Documents (11)

  • 97 Acres, Deep Cisterns and a Pit Filled with Over 2,000 Beer Bottles: Challenges in Urban Archaeology Through the Investigation of the NGA West Site (23SL2393) (2018)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Meredith M Hawkins Trautt.

    The new National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) will be constructed on 97 acres within a former working-class neighborhood in North St. Louis. It was clear from the beginning, for various reasons, that a traditional cultural resource study was not feasible. This presentation will outline the methodological approaches that led to the identification and mitigation of the NGA West Site (23SL2393), the challenges encountered during the laboratory analysis, and ongoing research questions in...

  • The Building of the City of Orthez (2018)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Nadine Béague.

    The goal of the expose is to illustrate the evolution of this particular urban area, using archeological sources such as preventive excavations, one-time digs, prospections, and architecture specialists as well as historical records. The idea is to measure as accurately as possible the impact of important historical events, particularly during the two eras that have influenced the history of Orthez the most: when it was the capital city of the principality of Béarn, then during the period where...

  • Cellar Sumps and Moisture Management: 18th and 19th Century Drainage Features (2018)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Thomas J Cuthbertson.

    During excavations conducted by Thunderbird Archeology on the waterfront in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia multiple building foundations were uncovered near the historic coastline of the port city that contained evidence of groundwater management strategies associated with their earliest occupations. The foundations’ construction dates range from between the second half of the 18th to the first half of the 19th centuries. Drainage features within these foundations include multiple styles of...

  • Making Urban Archaeology Municipal: Mapping Archaeological Sensitivity in Richmond, Virginia (2018)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Ellen Chapman.

    In the wake of a 2014 city proposal to construct a baseball stadium in the heart of Richmond’s historic slave trading district, the archaeological and historical importance of Virginia’s capitol is receiving unprecedented national, regional, and local attention. This has resulted in increased public and governmental pressure to perform excavations within the city, plan interpretive projects, enhance archaeological protections, and educate the public about their shared archaeological resources....

  • Method over Madness: A Practical Approach to Colonial-Period Archaeology in Urban St. Louis (2018)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Michael J. Meyer.

    The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) has been conducting archaeological excavations in the City of St. Louis almost continuously since 2004. Up until 2012, this work concentrated on properties dating from the mid-nineteenth through early-twentieth centuries. MoDOT’s field methodologies drew largely on previous work in Oakland, Boston, New York, and other urban centers, with minor alterations to accommodate the idiosyncrasies of the modern St. Louis landscape. Since 2013, however,...

  • New Ceramic Economic Indices for the Historical Archaeology of the Late Nineteenth- and Early Twentieth-Centuries (2018)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Jennifer A. Rideout. Elizabeth A. Sobel.

    Since the 1980s, historical archaeologists have productively used Miller's ceramic economic indices (CEIs) to quantify ceramic expenditure patterns. However, the Miller CEIs are suited primarily to antebellum assemblages. This temporal limit is problematic, constraining our use of ceramics to investigate postbellum economics and consumerism. We redress this problem by presenting a new set of CEIs, which we created expressly for ceramics manufactured between 1880 and 1929, by gathering ceramic...

  • Poteaux-en-Terre, Faience, Ash Pits and Native American Ceramics: An Update on MoDOT’s Archaeology Under the Bridge (2018)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Rachel A Campbell.

    The continuing archaeological investigations by the Missouri Department of Transportation on the Poplar Street Bridge Project in downtown St. Louis, has increased our knowledge of early St Louis’ French inhabitants, the interactions between the French and the local Native Americans, and improved archaeological methods in urban environments. Excavations in 2016 and 2017 on the Berger Site (23SL2402) have encountered a large French colonial period poteaux-en-terre vertical log structure with a...

  • Preliminary Results of Data Recovery Investigations At The National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA) Facility, City Of St. Louis, Missouri (2018)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Joe Harl.

    Data recovery investigations at the 97 acre NGA facility, uncovered remains predominately associated with German and Irish immigrant working class families. At the ends of the blocks lived families associated with business owners. These investigations resulted in the documentation of 300 features, consisting of building remains and yard features. Despite historical documents indicating a relatively stable neighborhood, each block had variations in the alignment and types of features. The...

  • Recent Archaeological Investigations at the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, St. Louis (2018)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Don Booth. Robert J. Moore.

    In 2015 the National Park Service and the City of St. Louis initiated a major redesign and renovation of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial; home of the Gateway Arch.  The memorial is located on the site of the French colonial 18th century village of St. Louis which later in the 19th century developed into the commercial hub of the city.  Due to the continued growth of the city throughout the 19th century as well as the destruction and redevelopment following the Great Fire of 1849 and...

  • Working in Small Areas: The Archaeology Of An Urban Backyard in St. Charles, Missouri (2018)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Steve Dasovich.

    Working in small, urban backyards is challenging due to often numerous ground disturbing activities.  Often lurking between these disturbances, archaeological deposits can offer interesting and surprising glimpses of past activity.  One backyard along Main Street in St. Charles, Missouri offers just such a glimpse that includes family life and dumping activity interpreted through 20th-Century children's toys and an unusually dense concentration of 19h-Century ceramics,

  • Working-class culture in the urban landscape of twentieth-century Sheffield (2018)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Katherine Fennelly.

    This paper will examine the legacy of early twentieth-century working-class cultural practice encoded within the archaeology of the post-industrial landscape of Sheffield, in the United Kingdom. Sheffield was a booming industrial city, specialising in the metal trades, which underwent a considerable building boom towards the end of the nineteenth century. The north-city suburb of Firth Park saw the rapid expansion of domestic housing stock and the opening of Sheffield’s first public park in this...