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Hidden Things Brought to Light: Richmond Archaeological Collections and the Importance of Curation as Research

Author(s): Ellen Chapman

Year: 2017

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Summary

Collections associated with urban archaeology, predominantly created by compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, face unique challenges of curation, conservation, and accessibility. This research examines the curation crisis through the lens of archaeological collections from Richmond, Virginia. Despite unique assemblages, including those from a considerable Reconstruction Era incarcerated skeletal population; rare 19th century industrial and commercial contexts; numerous sunken bateaux and canal boats; a Late Archaic site of substantial regional importance; and multiple collections associated with slave jails and slave trader residences, extremely little research is currently undertaken on Richmond collections. The under use of Richmond collections has restricted archaeological understanding of central Virginia and the American South, a situation that emphasizes the continued importance of "curation as research." To address these challenges, this presentation introduces a new tool designed to increase the visibility of Richmond’s collections and promote future scholarship using these resources.


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Hidden Things Brought to Light: Richmond Archaeological Collections and the Importance of Curation as Research. Ellen Chapman. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Fort Worth, TX. 2017 ( tDAR id: 435205)


Keywords


Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 613

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