Discovery Through Rehabilitation: The Betty Veatch Potomac Creek Collection

Author(s): Erin Cagney

Year: 2020


This is an abstract from the session entitled "Boxed but not Forgotten Redux or: How I Learned to Stop Digging and Love Old Collections" , at the 2020 annual meeting of the Society for Historical Archaeology.

In 2017, archaeologists at American University in Washington, D.C. rediscovered the Betty Veatch collection sitting forgotten in the lab— boxes of prehistoric and historic artifacts alongside Veatch’s personal journals, field logs, and photographs from her 1970s-1980s surveys. After an emergency re-housing, we found that the collection is full of recoverable and significant data from at least 54 unregistered sites in the Potomac Creek estuary in Virginia, some of which have already been lost to erosion and development. The estuary has a long history of occupation, comprising part of the ancestral lands of the Patawomeck Indian Tribe of Virginia. The collection is being catalogued for the first time, with the ultimate goal of using the recovered data to relocate the sites Veatch discovered in her survey. This paper will discuss the new discoveries and challenges of interpreting such a collection in order to better protect the cultural heritage of the estuary.

Cite this Record

Discovery Through Rehabilitation: The Betty Veatch Potomac Creek Collection. Erin Cagney. 2020 ( tDAR id: 456866)


Spatial Coverage

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

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 598