Archaeology: October 2018 is Archaeology Month

Organized by the Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission, this program promotes Rhode Island’s rich archaeological heritage though a series of free public events led by the professional community.

Download the R.I. Archaeology Month Calendar.

Where the Land Meets the Sea: Hurricane Sandy and Its Impact on Rhode Island’s Coastal Archaeological Record 

Hurricanes and Nor’easters have routinely battered Rhode Island’s south coast, impacting the lives of residents and leaving millions of dollars in property damage. Another important, though often underrecognized, effect is the erosion of archaeological sites that contain valuable and irreplaceable information about past lifeways. Jay Waller of the Public Archaeology Laboratory Inc. will showcase the results of an unprecedented, systematic study of archaeological sites along Rhode Island’s south coast – specifically those damaged by Hurricane Sandy in 2012. This free public program is part of the South County History Center’s series “Resilient Rhode Island: Disasters & Determination in the Ocean State,” which is made possible through major funding support from the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, an independent state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Location: The Narragansett Towers, 35 Ocean Road, Narragansett
Contact: Erica Luke or 401-783-1328

SATURDAY OCTOBER 6 at 10am, 11am, or 12noon
Tour the Green Jacket Shoal Ship Graveyard – By Kayak! 
David Robinson, a University of Rhode Island Marine Archaeologist, has teamed up with Josh Woinar of Rhode Island Adventure Tours to develop this one-hour journey through the heart of Rhode Island’s largest ship graveyard – East Providence’s Green Jacket Shoal. Intimately observe remnants a floating dry dock and a century-long accumulation of abandoned wooden vessels that testify to the industrial fervor which transformed Providence into a thriving commercial waterfront. Sign up through Rhode Island Adventure Tours for one of the three, consecutive time slots; 10:00 AM, 11:00 AM, or 12:00 noon. This is the only Rhode Island Archaeology Month program event that requires a fee. The registration fee of $45 per individual includes a kayak, paddle, and lifejacket, which will be provided at the Bold Point Park boat launch.
Location: Bold Point Park, East Providence
Advance registration required Contact RI Adventure Tours at 401-644-1297 or visit the RI Adventure Tours Facebook page to sign up

SATURDAY OCTOBER 6, 10am – 4pm
Archaeology and History at the Historic Amos Greene Farm

Archaeologists from the University of Rhode Island and Gray and Pape, Inc. will be on hand to discuss the history and archaeology of historic Amos Greene Farm during the Charlestown Historical Society’s grand Revolutionary War Encampment event. Located on beautiful rolling hills just west of Rt. 112, this family farmstead was active throughout the American Revolutionary War and beyond. The rural coastal area that is now Charlestown is rich with Native American culture, colonial trading histories, agricultural and manufacturing diversity, and early American conflict in a burgeoning republic. Archaeologists will display artifacts, explore the Greene family tree, and assess the farm’s varied landscape, stone walls, and structures while groups of colonial reenactors and period vendors portray life as it was 240 years ago. $5 donation suggested. More information about the encampment may be found at Rhody Island Monthly 
Location: Parking will be at the Charlestown Elementary School, 363 Carolina Back Road, Rt. 112, Charlestown, and there will be a two-minute shuttle bus to take visitors to the farm
Contact: Chris McCabe or (912) 247-4377

SATURDAY OCTOBER 13, 4 – 8:30pm
Archaeology of Children at the Rhode Island State Home and School

Rhode Island College professor Pierre Morenon will discuss the archaeology and history of children, particularly indigenous children, who once resided in custodial institutions, such as the Rhode Island State Home and School, which housed dependent and neglected children from 1885-1979. His research provides intimate glimpses of daily life in this state institution, which shaped generations of Rhode Islanders. Join him for an outdoor walking tour of the former State Home property and historic Chapin Mansion (4:00-6:30 PM) and/or attend his follow-up lecture and slideshow (7:00-8:30 PM) in one of the State Home cottages. Rhode Island College sponsors this free event.
Location: Yellow Cottage, Rhode Island College, Providence (Yellow Cottage is on the west side of Salisbury Drive, between the Forman Center and the Recreation Center)
Contact: Pierre Morenon or 401-456-9724

Stone Walls of Rhode Island

The networks of stone walls extend across Rhode Island are more than quaint landscape accents. They are dynamic records of our shared past worth studying and preserving. Join Rhode Island state archaeologist Timothy Ives for an illustrated, one-hour presentation on the history and character of stone walls across the state. This free event is sponsored by the Blackstone Valley Historical Society.
Location: Northgate Toll House, 1873 Old Louisquisset Pike, Lincoln
Contact: Tim Ives or (401) 222-4139

SATURDAY OCTOBER 20, 11am – 3pm
Archaeology of College Hill Community Archaeology Day

Come be part of an active archaeological excavation! Students will be digging on the grounds of Moses Brown School (next to Brown’s athletic center), uncovering the foundations of a 19th-century home and processing artifacts from that household. Stop by for this free, family-friendly event any time between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm to see the artifacts students are discovering. You may even try your hand at digging. This free event is sponsored by Moses Brown School and Brown University’s Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World. 
Location: Moses Brown School, 250 Lloyd Ave., Providence (go to the corner of Hope St. and Lloyd Ave. where you’ll see us digging – wave to us and we’ll direct you around the fence to our site!)
Contact: Joukowsky_Institute or (401) 863-3188

SATURDAY OCTOBER 20, 11am – 3pm
Uncover Archaeology: Community Archaeology Day at the Joukowsky Institute

At the Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World on Brown University’s Main Green, see ancient coins from Greece and Rome up close! 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! This is a free event.
Location: Joukowsky Institute for Arch., R.I. Hall (60 George St.), Brown Univ., Providence
Contact: Joukowsky_Institute or (401) 863-3188

The New England Vampire Panic 

Details forthcoming. Presented by the South County History Center in partnership with the South Kingstown Land Trust. This free public program is part of the Center’s series “Resilient Rhode Island: Disasters & Determination in the Ocean State,” which is made possible through major funding support from the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, an independent state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Location: South Kingstown Land Trust Barn, 17 Matunuck Beach Road, South Kingstown
Contact: Erica Luke or 401-783-1328
For more details, please visit

SUNDAY OCTOBER 28, 12 – 2pm
Speak to an Archaeologist: Learn More About Local Archaeology and Bring Your Questions 

Gray & Pape professional archaeologists and Scituate Preservation Society members Nathan Scholl and Kimberly Smith invite you to learn about what archaeology is and what archaeologists do in New England. Listen to their stories, and bring your own questions and stories to share about local history. Time permitting, the archaeologists will help identify Native American and early colonial artifacts that you may happen to own (limit – 2 per person). Anyone curious about the past is welcome to this free family-friendly event.
Location: Scituate Preservation Society Grange Hall, 706 Hartford Pike, North Scituate
Contact: Kimberly Smith or (717) 515-8994

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