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A Silk Purse from a Sow’s Ear: The History and Archeology of the Monumental Core in Washington, DC

Author(s): Charles H Leedecker

Year: 2016

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Summary

The Monumental Core in the District of Columbia contains some of the nation’s most iconic landscapes, landmarks and memorials. The modern landscape bears little resemblance to the natural environment or the nineteenth-century city. For thousands of years, Native Americans camped along the bank of a tidal creek. After the City of Washington was established in 1790, the creek was transformed first into a canal, then a foul sewer that carried the city’s waste into the Potomac River.  Areas of open water and lowlying creek banks were filled during the nineteenth century, mostly related to efforts to maintain navigation on the Potomac River.  The public lands are a now premier tourist destination and stage for countless celebrations and demonstrations, but the history of the landscape is little known.  A series of archaeological investigations on these lands have brought much of this forgotten history to light.


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Cite this Record

A Silk Purse from a Sow’s Ear: The History and Archeology of the Monumental Core in Washington, DC. Charles H Leedecker. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Washington, D.C. 2016 ( tDAR id: 434890)


Keywords

Temporal Keywords
Historic


Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 61

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America