2023 RI Archaeology Month Calendar

RI Archaeology Month 2023

Rhode Island Archaeology Month events run throughout October (also known as Archtober) providing programs led by professionals about the state's archaeological heritage. All events are free and open to the public.

For more information about Rhode Island Archaeology Month, contact Charlotte Taylor.

Click each for event details.

Archaeology of Glocester
Harmony Library, 195 Putnam Pike, Glocester
Tuesday, October 3 | 6 - 7pm

Archaeologist Charlotte Taylor will begin with the thousands of years of Native American habitation of the land and move on to the historical archaeology of Glocester covering both the agricultural and industrial history of the town as manifested through old farm and mill sites.

Charlotte is an archaeologist at the Rhode Island Historical Preservation and Heritage Commission. Her duties take her far and wide in the state on land and also on sea. She maintains an inventory of the locations and conditions of the state’s shipwrecks, and she is the author of the book Rhode Island Shipwrecks, published in 2017.

Contact: harmonyreference@gmail.com

Re-excavating the Old State House Parade Ground HANDS-ON ARCHAEOLOGY (RAIN OR SHINE)
Rhode Island Historical Preservation and Heritage Commission, 150 Benefit St, Providence

Dry weather plan: meet in "back" of the building between North Court and South Court Streets
Wet weather plan: enter building at 150 Benefit St

Saturday, October 7 | 1 - 3pm

In 1974, archaeologists from Brown University excavated the site of an 18th-century house at the west end of the Parade Ground outside the Old State House.  All the artifacts were stored at the Old State House, now the office of the Rhode Island Historical Preservation and Heritage Commission, but the bulk of the collection was never catalogued. Join State Archaeologist Charlotte Taylor to sort the collections, separate out the significant artifacts, and catalogue as much as possible.

History and Archaeology of the URI Campus Landscape
Thursday, 10/12 | 7pm
South Kingstown High School, 215 Columbia St, Wakefield

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 more complicated history. Ancestors of the Narragansett, the only federally recognized tribe in this area, lived and worked here for millennia prior to the arrival of Europeans. In the 18th century the land was a plantation owned by the Niles family, who controlled enslaved Africans and Indigenous people. URI professors Kris Bovy, Cathy DeCesare, and Rod Mather will explore the 5,000-year history of this place, highlighting archaeological work done on campus and calling attention to the cultural landscape, which is both visible and invisible to community members. This event is part of the South Kingstown 300th anniversary celebrations

Contact: joanneesposito87@gmail.com

Archaeology at the Wilkinson Mill
Old Slater Mill National Historic Landmark, 67 Roosevelt Ave, Pawtucket
Saturday, October 14 | 11am - noon

Join us for a lecture by Dr. Patrick Malone, an industrial archaeologist and historian of technology. Dr. Malone will discuss “Archaeology at the Wilkinson Mill: Using Material Evidence to Recreate a Water Power System.” Dr. Malone was the Director of Slater Mill Historic Site from 1974-1989 and serves on the Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission's State Review Board. Hear about his first-hand experience as the principal investigator during the wheel pit excavation of Wilkinson Mill, a significant engineering landmark. 

Contact: allison_horrocks@nps.gov

Archaeology Month Open House at Old Slater Mill National Historic Landmark
Old Slater Mill National Historic Landmark, 67 Roosevelt Ave., Pawtucket
Saturday, October 14 | 1 - 4pm

Experience Rhode Island Archaeology Month at Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park. Learn about the archaeological digs that have taken place at Old Slater Mill National Historic Landmark and see a model of the Wilkinson water wheel. Watch footage of archaeologists working on the site and conduct a search for small treasures. Free, hands-on activities suitable for young visitors will be available. Presented in partnership with Old Slater Mill Association.

Contact: allison_horrocks@nps.gov

Jenks Settlement Walking Tour
Old Slater Mill National Historic Landmark, 67 Roosevelt Ave, Pawtucket
Saturday, October 14 | 1:30 - 2:30pm

Learn about Pawtucket's colonial settlers and the community's early ironworks during a free walking tour hosted by Old Slater Mill Association. Over the course of one mile, participants will walk for approximately one hour on paved surfaces, with some small hills and steps. 

Contact: allison_horrocks@nps.gov

Archaeology of College Hill Community Archaeology Day
in front of List Art Center, 64 College St, Brown University
Saturday, October 14 | 11am- 3pm

Be part of an active archaeological excavation! Brown University students will be digging on the grounds outside the List Art Building. Stop by (with your family or on your own) any time to see what artifacts students are discovering or even try your hand at digging. All ages are welcome.

Contact: joukowsky_institute@brown.edu or (401) 863-3188

Uncover Archaeology: Community Archaeology Day at the Joukowsky Institute
Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology, Rhode Island Hall, Brown University, Providence (60 George Street)
Saturday, October 14 | 11am- 3pm

Join the Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World and the AIA Narragansett Society for an archaeology-themed open house on Brown University’s Main Green. See ancient coins from Greece and Rome up close! Touch animal bones! Examine and draw Persian and Roman ceramics, prehistoric tools, precious metals, and other artifacts from thousands of years ago – coached by experts! And talk with Brown’s archaeologists about their fieldwork all over the world! All ages are welcome.

Contact: joukowsky_institute@brown.edu or (401) 863-3188

Archaeology Month Open House at Old Slater Mill National Historic Landmark
Old Slater Mill National Historic Landmark, 67 Roosevelt Ave., Pawtucket
Sunday, October 15 | 1 - 4pm

Experience Rhode Island Archaeology Month at Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park. Learn about the archaeological digs that have taken place at Old Slater Mill National Historic Landmark and see a model of the Wilkinson water wheel. Watch footage of archaeologists working on the site and conduct a search for small treasures. Free, hands-on activities suitable for young visitors will be available. Presented in partnership with Old Slater Mill Association.

Contact: allison_horrocks@nps.gov

Project Highlights from Engaging the Americas at the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology Mellon Grant Project 
In-person (Digital Scholarship Lab at Rockefeller Library, Brown University, 10 Prospect St, Providence) and Virtual--everyone must REGISTER online
Tuesday, October 17 | noon - 1pm

From 2018 to 2023, Brown’s Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology spearheaded a massive project to re-house, re-catalog, and photograph the North American archaeological collections in their care, using funds awarded by the Mellon Foundation. Using Scalar, Curatorial Assistant Dr. Jessica Nelson developed a digital exhibition focusing on the process developed during the project to care for the 19,000 objects addressed during the grant timeline. This digital exhibition offers members of the public a glimpse into the process of caring for these objects and behind the scenes into our storage spaces, allowing us to share collection care processes, museum spaces, and volumes of material that cannot be shared in traditional exhibitions.

contact: jessica_nelson@brown.edu

Preservation After Dark at the Noreen Stonor Drexel Cultural and Historic Preservation Lab
Antone Academic Center, Room 105, Salve Regina University, Newport
Tuesday, October 17 | 5-7pm

Learn how archaeologists think from things by visiting the Noreen Stonor Drexel Cultural and Historic Preservation Lab at Salve Regina University for an open house hosted by Dr. Heather Rockwell and students. After a brief tour of the lab facilities and a demonstration of some of the equipment, you can work with a Salve student on analyzing artifacts. Touch the past as you learn how to identify stone tools from a 12,000-year-old campsite in Maine, clean up pottery from a forgotten gilded age mansion, or learn to apply dates to bottles from a colonial era home.

Parking is available in the lot behind the building off of Lawrence Avenue or street parking is available.

Contact: heather.rockwell@salve.edu

Archaeological Excavations at Old Potterville School
316 Old Plainfield Pike, Scituate
Saturday, October 21 | 12 - 4pm 

Join Scituate Preservation Society and archaeologists from HDR for archaeological investigations at the Old Potterville School. Archaeologist Kim Smith will be excavating test pits and screening for artifacts. We welcome the people of all ages to attend, ask questions, hold pieces of history in their hands, and engage in local history. This program is intended to occur annually providing opportunities for Rhode Island residents to see archaeology in action.

Contact: Kimberly.Smith@hdrinc.com

Jenks Settlement Walking Tour
Old Slater Mill National Historic Landmark, 67 Roosevelt Ave, Pawtucket
Saturday, October 21 | 1:30 - 2:30pm

Learn about Pawtucket's colonial settlers and the community's early ironworks during a free walking tour hosted by Old Slater Mill Association. Over the course of one mile, participants will walk for approximately one hour on paved surfaces, with some small hills and steps. 

Contact: allison_horrocks@nps.gov

“We wrangled with them for some time:” Conflict Archaeology and the Battle of Rhode Island
Portsmouth Historical Society, 870 East Main Rd, Portsmouth
Thursday, October 26 | 6 - 7pm

The Battle of Rhode Island Association (BoRIA) is committed to researching, documenting, and sharing Rhode Island’s involvement in the American Revolutionary War with particular emphases on the Rhode Island Campaign and the Revolutionary earthworks on Butts Hill in Portsmouth. Their efforts have drawn the attention of several property owners whose lands are included in Battle of Rhode Island battlefield. BoRIA volunteers have begun a forensic study of actions of August 29, 1778, with the generous support of private property owners and the Portsmouth Historical Society. The Public Archaeology Laboratory, Inc. (PAL) Senior Archaeologist Jay Waller will discuss battlefield/conflict archaeology and summarize the results and preliminary interpretations of the BoRIA’s investigations at two properties to date.

The HMS Gaspee Archaeology Study: An Exhibit Opening
Warwick Public Library, 600 Sandy Lane, Warwick
Saturday, October 28 | 2 - 3pm

The Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project (RIMAP) will open an exhibit of the archaeological study to find HMS Gaspee, the small Royal Navy ship  that had been burned by Patriots in 1772. With generous local funding in 2021 the RIMAP study conducted  a preliminary side scan study of the area south of Gaspee Point and in 2022 further remote sensing all around the spit at Gaspee Point generated few targets to indicate that presence of an historic shipwreck there. In 2022 and 2023 RIMAP divers and the shore team investigated selected areas of the water and the dunes around the spit and again results were inconclusive. The survey will continue in 2024, but there is now enough data to understand the natural and human processes along this Warwick shoreline, and especially why the Gaspee has been so difficult to find. The small archaeology exhibit at the Warwick Public Library will share the results of this research. Dr. Kathy Abbass and project partners will host the event. 

Contact: rhodeislandmap@yahoo.com

Re-excavating the Old State House Parade Ground HANDS-ON ARCHAEOLOGY
Rhode Island Historical Preservation and Heritage Commission, 150 Benefit St, Providence

Sunday, October 29 | 1 - 4pm

In 1974, archaeologists from Brown University excavated the site of an 18th-century house at the west end of the Parade Ground outside the Old State House.  All the artifacts were stored at the Old State House, now the office of the Rhode Island Historical Preservation and Heritage Commission, but the bulk of the collection was never catalogued. Join State Archaeologist Charlotte Taylor to sort the collections, separate out the significant artifacts, and catalogue as much as possible.

Archaeological Examples of Narragansett Indian & Native American Life (virtual)
view online throughout October at https://tinyurl.com/2p9vuhxd

The Narragansett Indian people lived, died, fished, settled, traded, and exploited resources from South Kingstown and surrounding lands long before South Kingstown was incorporated in 1723. On the 300th anniversary of the town’s incorporation, long-term South Kingstown resident and The Public Archaeology Laboratory, Inc. (PAL) Senior Archaeologist Jay Waller will provide real archaeological examples of Narragansett Indian and Native American land use enlightening the depth of South Kingstown’s unique history.

This event was part of South Kingstown 300th anniversary celebrations

Behind the Scenes: Engaging the Americas at the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology Mellon Grant Project
virtual exhibit

The Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology at Brown University invites you to go behind the scenes and into the Engaging the Americas project, an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Grant funded enterprise that enabled us to re-house, re-catalogue, and photograph a large portion of the North American archaeological materials in our care.  Here, you will enter the world of the Collections Care Team to see how we worked to improve the storage conditions for these objects. This virtual exhibition welcomes you to explore the space, the process, and learn more about the project and the collections.

contact: jessica_nelson@brown.edu