Organized by the Rhode Island Historical Preservation and Heritage Commission, this program promotes Rhode Island's rich archaeological heritage through a series of free public educational events in October led by professional and academic volunteers.

RI Arch. Month title graphic


       In chronological order

Walking Through Time: The 5000-Year History of the URI Campus


In 2017, the University of Rhode Island (URI) marked its 125th anniversary. The land on which the university sits, however, has a much longer and complicated history that is invisible to most of the campus community. Ancestors of the Narragansett, the only federally recognized tribe in this area, lived and worked here for millennia before European arrivals. Archaeological work preceding construction of the Ryan Center in the 1990s also revealed a later 18th century burial ground associated with the Niles family, which likely contains the remains of enslaved Africans and Indigenous people, part of Rhode Island's tumultuous history. Join us on a free panel discussion of this land's history and how it is (and is not) memorialized on campus today. An optional walking tour of the URI campus will follow. Sponsored by URI (Center for Humanities, Sociology & Anthropology, History, and the Applied History Lab) and the Tomaquag Museum.

Location: Panel Discussion will be in the Beaupre Center for Chemical and Forensic Sciences (Rm. 100) at the URI Campus in Kingston or by livestream. Optional campus walking tour will follow.

Registration is encouraged but not required. To register, go to: Walking through Time: the 5000-Year History of the URI Campus – Center for the Humanities 

For more information, contact Kris Bovy:  [email protected] or (401) 874-4143

Archaeology Discovery Walk of Providence’s Snowtown and Great Point


Please join us for a free guided Discovery Walk exploring the north shore of Providence's Great Salt Cove! This area was the former location of the early 19th century Snowtown neighborhood and Rhode Island's first state prison. The Walk will be led by archaeologists Heather Olson and Andrew Polta who will lead attendees through the area where the neighborhood and prison once stood. Using maps, photographs, and archival records, the guides will bring attendees into the everyday world of Providence's early 19th century residents. The Walk is about one mile long and will take about one hour to complete. Sponsored by the Public Archaeology Laboratory, Inc. and the Snowtown Project.

Location: The Discovery Walk begins (and ends) at the Rhode Island State House [82 Smith Street, Providence]. Meet on the front steps facing down toward the Providence Place Mall.

To register, go to: https://pvdarchaeologydiscoverywalk.eventbrite.com

For more information, contact Heather Olson: [email protected]

“Exceeding great paines in their fishing”: Narragansett Indian Fishing Practices, Techniques, and Tradition


So much of Rhode Island’s heart and soul is its recreational and commercial fisheries. Like so many of us today, the Narragansett and their ancestors relied on the state’s rivers and coast to supply the resources necessary to fulfill their basic needs. This free presentation by Joseph N. Waller, Senior Archaeologist at the Public Archaeology Laboratory, Inc. (PAL), will draw on New England archaeological evidence to describe Native American fishing traditions and practices. Sponsored by PAL, the South County Museum, and the South County History Center.

Location: This is planned as a live, in-person event to be held at the South County Museum, 115 Strathmore St, Narragansett, RI 02882. However, should COVID-related restrictions materialize, the event will be livestreamed via YouTube.

To register, contact: Heather Kisilywicz: [email protected]

"There's nothing of their house but the ruined foundation": History and Archaeology at the Manton Farm Property


The Public Archaeology Laboratory, Inc. (PAL) teamed with the Little Compton Historical Society (LCHS) and community volunteers to document the history of the Manton Farm on Mullin Hill Road. Henry Manton was a Black man who came to Little Compton as a boy in the 1860s; his wife Ida Johnson’s African American and Native American family was from Dartmouth. At numerous times during three generations of ownership, the Manton family was the only family of color in Little Compton. Join PAL Senior Archaeologist Holly Herbster and LCHS’s Executive Director Marjory O’Toole as they share the history of the Manton Family and results of the 2019 archaeological investigations.

Free video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7fzYvRSZxO8