October is Rhode Island Archaeology Month

Published on Monday, September 27, 2021

(Providence, R.I.) The Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission will present Rhode Island Archaeology Month throughout October. This program promotes Rhode Island's rich archaeological heritage through a series of free public educational events led by professional and academic volunteers.

Four events include:

1) 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 at Beaupre Center for Chemical and Forensic Sciences (Rm. 100) at the URI Campus in Kingston or by livestream.

Registration encouraged at: https://web.uri.edu/humanities/walking-through-time-the-5000-year-history-of-the-uri-campus/

2) 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: Meet at the Rhode Island State House, 82 Smith Street, Providence on the front steps facing the Providence Place Mall.

Registration required at https://pvdarchaeologydiscoverywalk.eventbrite.com

3) “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.

South County Museum, 115 Strathmore St, Narragansett, RI 02882. If the event cannot be held in person, it will be livestreamed via YouTube.

Registration required via email at mailto:heather@southcountymuseum.org

4) "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.

Watch online: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7fzYvRSZxO8


RI Arch. Month title graphic