FOUND: The Slave Quarters of Sally Hemings

Manacles

Slave manacles from Monticello (Creative Commons)

She was mother to six of Thomas Jefferson’s children.  She was also Thomas Jefferson’s slave.  Archaeologists at Monticello have discovered the living quarters of Sally Hemings.

Here is a taste of a report from NBC News:

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Archaeologists have excavated an area of Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello mansion that has astounded even the most experienced social scientists: The living quarters of Sally Hemings, the enslaved woman who, historians believe, gave birth to six of Jefferson’s children.

“This discovery gives us a sense of how enslaved people were living. Some of Sally’s children may have been born in this room,” said Gardiner Hallock, director of restoration for Jefferson’s mountaintop plantation, standing on a red-dirt floor inside a dusty rubble-stone room built in 1809. “It’s important because it shows Sally as a human being — a mother, daughter, and sister — and brings out the relationships in her life.”

Hemings’ living quarters was adjacent to Jefferson’s bedroom but she remains something of an enigma: there are only four known descriptions of her. Enslaved blacksmith Isaac Granger Jefferson recalled that Hemings was “mighty near white . . . very handsome, long straight hair down her back.”

Her room — 14 feet, 8 inches wide and 13 feet long — went unnoticed for decades. The space was converted into a men’s bathroom in 1941, considered by some as the final insult to Hemings’ legacy.

Read the entire news report here.

I am sure Annette Gordon-Reed‘s phone has been ringing today.

The National Endowment for the Humanities Helped Archaeologist William Kelso and His Team Find Jamestown

jamestown3

Donald Trump’s current budget proposal will eliminate government funding for the humanities.  This means that local communities and American citizens will need to come up with other ways to fund important programs.

It is probably the greatest archaeological discovery in American history. For over two hundred years historians and archaeologists had assumed that Jamestown, the first successful English colony in America, was decaying somewhere at the bottom of the James River.  Archaeologist William Kelso had other ideas.  In 1994 he took a shovel and started digging.  With the help of over $300,000 from the National Endowment for the Humanities he found the fort!

Here is a small taste of the story, courtesy of the NEH website:

…Soon joined by a rotating team of scientists, curators, and volunteers, Kelso began to uncover postholes (pits that once held upright structural timbers), old cellars, and all sorts of cultural detritus: ceramic shards, tobacco pipes, food scraps, and pieces of European armor, some of which had been modified for New World combat. By 1996, the team was confident enough in their finds to announce publicly the rediscovery of James Fort, the first settlement’s first structure, and begin aligning the physical evidence they had gathered with the sparse written records of Smith and others who lived there.

The story that the documentary and archaeological evidence tells is one of hope and industry set against the brutal realities of life in the New World. The colonists built impressive fortifications but struggled for power among themselves (the first grave found at the site contained an Englishman likely killed by a musket ball). They manufactured glass and copper beads for trade with local Powhatan tribes but never managed to establish enduring peace with the native people (Smith himself was abducted but, according to his own account, saved by Pocahontas). For the sake of claiming a share of the New World, they endured disease, the constant threat of violence, and, during the winter of 1609, hunger so dire they resorted to cannibalism.

That last grisly item—recounted in a number of seventeenth-century sources—was confirmed in 2012, when the Jamestown Rediscovery team disinterred the bones of a young English woman. Her skull bore markings consistent with what forensic anthropologist Douglas Owsley of the Smithsonian’s Natural History Museum describes as “postmortem processing.”

Read more here.  And here is some information about the Jamestown Rediscovery Project.

And a couple of cool videos:

For other posts in this series click here.

Plymouth Settlement: Found

plymouth

Archaeologists from the University of Massachusetts-Boston have uncovered evidence of the original 1620 Plymouth settlement.  Here is a taste of an article at the UMASS-Boston website:

Kathryn Ness is the curator of collections at Plimoth Plantation, UMass Boston’s partner in this project. She says this discovery is huge.

“Finding evidence of colonial activity inside the original 1620 Plymouth settlement is an incredibly exciting discovery that has the potential to change dramatically our understanding of early European colonization in New England. For the first time, we have proof of where the settlement was located and what kinds of items the Pilgrims owned and used,” Ness said. “At Plimoth Plantation, the team’s findings will help us further refine our exhibits, as we use archaeological evidence and historical documents as the basis for our portrayal of the past and to ensure that our buildings, activities, and reproduction objects are as accurate as possible. We are looking forward to learning more about their discoveries and seeing what they find next season!”

Read the entire article here.

What Constitutes a Historical Document?

Mount VernonAHA Today, the blog of the American Historical Association, is featuring the work of several history graduate students who will be writing regular posts throughout the summer.  I am thrilled to see that one of the students chosen to write for the blog is Erin Holmes, a Ph.D candidate in early American history at the University of South Carolina.  I got to know Erin and her work a little bit during my one-month residency as a visiting scholar at the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington at Mount Vernon.  When I arrived Erin was in the midst of a longer six-month fellowship devoted to work on a dissertation on 18th-century plantation landscapes in Virginia, South Carolina, and Barbados.

In her first post at AHA Today, Erin reminds us that the primary documents historians use to tell stories about the past do not have to be words on paper.

Here is a taste:

In 1953, L.P. Hartley wrote that “The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.” Historians and lay readers alike are familiar with the idea that the past is a different place, but often lose sight of the word “place” in that discussion. Like any other place, we can travel to the past. Most often, we do this through the written word. We read primary sources that introduce us to foreign cultures and practices that once existed in the very location (sometimes down to the exact longitude and latitude) we do today, albeit in a place—a historical context encompassing geography, culture, and more—that would be utterly alien.

“Visiting the Past and the Places in Between” is based on my belief that history is inherently place-based and that historical analysis is strengthened by comparison. We attach ourselves (to varying degrees) to the places we come from, the places we live, and the places to which we travel. Among the richest resources for historians of the early modern period seeking thick descriptions of long lost people and places are travel narratives. These accounts are fundamentally the product of comparing the familiar with the unfamiliar, and to some extent historians produce our research questions from the same cloth. Pairing travel narratives with existing (or archaeological) historic structures, as well as expanding the definition of a “historical document” to include landscapes and buildings, provides an entry point to the past that can allow us to not only answer those questions, but to push them further.

Read the rest here.

Archaeologist Uncovers the Life of a Free-Black Philadelphian

Location of the home of James Oronko Dexter

I came across this great story today at Philly.com.  It is a story of archaeological research, historical detective work, and good old-fashioned perseverance.

Here is a taste:

In 2003, the National Constitution Center and Independence National Historical Park undertook the archaeological excavation of an obscure homesite just east of the center, then under construction.

t was the spot where, in the late 18th century, James Oronoko Dexter rented a modest brick house at 134 N. Fifth St., and where, with the house long demolished, a bus depot for the center was planned.
The excavation, undertaken at the urging of Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church and the African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas, produced a wealth of artifacts. But Dexter, a prominent member of the nascent free-black community of that time, remained elusive. Like the vast majority of Americans, he simply vanished into the past.
Now, Douglas Mooney, an archaeologist involved with numerous excavations on Independence Mall, has found an obituary for Dexter that establishes his date of death, and raises numerous questions about who he was. .
According to an Aug. 14, 1799, issue of the Philadelphia Gazette and Universal Daily Advertiser, Dexter died Aug. 8 of that year at the age of 70.
For reasons that remain obscure, he is identified in the obituary as “Noka Kinsey.” The obituary offers no hint about where “Kinsey” came from, though “Noka” clearly alludes to Dexter’s enslaved name, Oronoko. But there is no question that the subject is Dexter.
Read the rest here.
HT: George Boudreau via Facebook

18th-Century Shipwreck Found in a Maryland River

(Maryland State Highway Administration)

I can’t resist these kinds of stories.


Recently a Maryland road crew working to repair the bridge that crosses the Nanticoke River on Route 50 discovered the remains of an eighteenth-century ship.  It is unclear why the ship sunk to the bottom of the river.  It was either poorly constructed or shot down in a skirmish during the Revolutionary War.

Here is a taste of the report from Julie Zauzmer of The Washington Post:

The archaeologists speculate that the ship was built at a small local facility, not a major shipyard, because they can see some elementary mistakes in construction. An extra hole drilled in a log, a missing fastener that should have tightened the keel — those details are telling, centuries later.
Most evocative of all are the logs themselves. Scientists can date and locate trees with remarkable precision. The pattern in the rings of the oaks that became the ship tell archaeologists precisely when and where they were chopped down: 1743, somewhere in Maryland between the Potomac River and Annapolis.
“I was shocked that we could get that sort of detail,” Schablitsky said.
That means the ship was built sometime after 1743, probably soon after. And Schablitsky said it is clear that it went down before 1800.
It may have been purposely scuttled by because it was no longer seaworthy. But it may have met a more dramatic end.
Documents from the time tell of a Revolutionary War skirmish in the town of Vienna, Md. — where the wreck was found — in which British sympathizers shelled the town and sank several boats owned by colonists who supported the Revolution.
Intriguingly, the logs from the wreck were scorched, as if they had been burned just before sinking.

Gumby at Mount Vernon

I love this!  This Gumby figurine was found during an archaeological dig at Mount Vernon.  Read all about it here.

A taste:

Have you ever accidentally left something behind on a vacation or field trip? That might explain how a small, red, plastic Gumby ended up in the upper layers of the midden. Created by Art Clokey, the lovable clay figure Gumby first appeared in 1957 in his own animated television series. The original show lasted until 1968, but many spin-offs and revivals have occurred since then. Even with the many variations of the TV show, Gumby was never red, he was always green—Clokey’s favorite color. As with many popular TV shows and movies, merchandising spread the material culture of Gumby into homes around the world. The merchandising was so successful that objects featuring Gumby and his friends were sold long after the show was cancelled. Figurines were manufactured for gumball vending machines in many different colors; ours is one of the red gumball Gumbies.

These vending machine toys are an example of the long history of children at Mount Vernon. George and Martha Washington were always generous in inviting children into their home. They made room for Fanny, Martha Washington’s niece, and for Martha’s grandchildren, Washy and Nelly. Many other children stayed with them for shorter periods of time. Today, children visit Mount Vernon to see where George and Martha Washington lived. These young visitors have left many interesting items, like red Gumby, which we can use to interpret their cultural history.

A New Kind of History Department

Yesterday morning I was part of a team that presented the Digital Harrisburg Project to senior administrators at Messiah CollegeDavid Pettegrew, my colleague in the History Department and director of the Digital Harrisburg Project, and Peter Powers, the Dean of the School of Humanities, did most of the heavy lifting, but I was asked to frame the project within the larger mission of the Messiah College History Department.  Here are some my thoughts:

“A New Kind of History Department”

As I was preparing these thoughts I realized that people in the blogosphere may know more about what has been happening in the Messiah College History Department than the people in this room.  We have been actively promoting our Public History concentration via my blog, History on the Bridge, the Digital Harrisburg blog, Facebook, and Twitter.  I also wrote about my vision for a liberal arts history department in Why Study History?: Reflecting on the Importance of the Past.  My thoughts in this book have led to some formal and informal consulting work and I know that several history departments around the country are assigning the book in their classes and using it in faculty reading groups. (This list includes Bethel and Wheaton).

At Messiah we want our students to be producing history rather than just passively consuming it.  In addition, we want students to be doing history as a form of public and civic engagement because we believe that the historical thinking skills we are teaching them can contribute to a better society. This past weekend, at a history conference in Atlanta, I tried to connect the public work of the historian to Ernie Boyer’s “scholarship of engagement.”  This is the idea that academic expertise (in our case, the study of the past and historical thinking skills) can be used to strengthen our communities.

By moving toward a “scholarship of engagement” we are in no way abandoning the core ideas that have always informed what we do in the Messiah College History Department.  We still teach our students how to evaluate arguments, read critically, understand the past and the present in context, see the complexity of the human experience, empathize with those who are different, and grasp the concept of change over time.  But we also want to equip our students with a set of skills  These include, but are not limited to:

Digital Skills: We want our students to develop a proficiency in presenting history online through digital exhibits.  We want them to feel comfortable using GIS and other forms of mapping technology. We think it is important that they learn how to design a website.  We want them to think about how to present history creatively through social media.

Oral History Skills:  We want our students to listen to voices that are different from their own and do so in a methodologically responsible way.  We want them to learn how to conduct an oral history interview and in the process expand on what we know about the past.  We want our students to make meaning out of these recordings.

Local History Skills:  We want our students to learn the ins and outs of exploring the history of communities and towns and connect this local history to larger narratives.

Teaching Skills:  While we do a good job of training public school history educators, we want those who are not pursuing a teaching certification to be effective communicators to public audiences.

So some of us in the department went back to the drawing board to revamp what we believed to be an already strong public history concentration.  Let’s call it Public History 2.0.  We developed a course in Digital History  We re-purposed our Pennsylvania History course to include work in the creation of digital exhibits, oral history, and local history.  We opened up our “Teaching History” course to non-certification students. And we brought local history into an already existing course on history and archaeology that was originally focused solely on the ancient world.

But we also needed a laboratory in which to work.  After much discussion, we decided that Harrisburg, a medium-sized capitol city located fifteen minutes up the road, would be the perfect place to do this kind of applied history.  Thus far the Digital Harrisburg Project has been driven entirely by history courses.  This semester we have used David’s Digital History course and my Pennsylvania History course to get the Digital Harrisburg Project off the ground. (David will focus on the specifics in his presentation). The project has created a sense of excitement among the students who are involved.  We are also featuring the project at our admissions open house presentations for prospective students. Recently we secured a small amount of funding from the Diversity Affairs Office and the Center for Public Humanities to hire students to continue working on this project well after the semester is over. In the Fall, we expect Jim LaGrand’s Urban History and David’s Public Archaeology course to continue the work of the project.  I will be teaching Pennsylvania History again in Spring 2015.

My brief framing presentation was followed by David Pettegrew’s more specific presentation about Digital Harrisburg.  I believe that there are plans to put David’s talk on the Digital Harrisburg blog.  Stay tuned.

Beyond the Mansion 2.0

The NEH has awarded Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello and The Hermitage (home of Andrew Jackson) $300,000 to create “Beyond the Mansion 2.0,” a web project that will make archaeological research at these sites available to the public.  Here is the press release:

MONTICELLO, CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA—The National Endowment for the Humanities recently announced that they will provide a $300,000, three-year grant to enable archaeologists at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello to complete Beyond the Mansion 2.0., an innovative, web-based collaboration with The Hermitage.
Beyond the Mansion 2.0 will make thirty years of archaeological research at The Hermitage available to scholars and the general public. The project focuses on the First Hermitage, a cluster of archaeological sites occupied around 1800 by Jackson and a small group of enslaved people.  By 1821, the site was populated by Jackson’s rapidly growing slave labor force.  Beyond the Mansion 2.0 will support digitization and analysis of the artifact assemblages and field records generated by extensive excavations. Funding will also support faunal analysis by Colonial Williamsburg’s Laboratory of Zooarchaeology and macrobotanical analysis by the Archaeological Research Laboratory at the University of Tennessee.  The digitization will utilize protocols and software developed by the Digital Archaeological Archive of Comparative Slavery (DAACS)  and its collaborators.
“Bringing together these different kinds of archaeological information will allow us to discover how and why the use of consumer goods like stylish ceramics and the consumption of domestic and wild animals and plants varied within the enslaved community and changed over time at The Hermitage,” said Dr. Jillian Galle, the principle investigator for the new grant and project manager for DAACS. 
At the end of the project, data from Beyond the Mansion 2.0 will be available online via the DAACS website, along with data from sites at the Hermitage Mansion Backyard and the Hermitage Field Quarter. Because the First Hermitage data will conform to DAACS classification and measurement protocols, it will be seamlessly comparable to data from Monticello, previous Hermitage sites, and scores of sites in Virginia, Maryland, South Carolina, Jamaica, and Nevis. This will allow researchers to document and understand how the Hermitage data fit into larger patterns of spatial variation and change in the slave societies of North America and the Caribbean.
“We are very grateful to NEH and its peer reviewers for funding the Hermitage project.  This is another important step to our overall goal:  to facilitate the kind of rigorous, quantitative, and comparative analysis that will help us document and explain variation in the life ways of enslaved people in the early-modern era,” said Dr. Fraser Neiman, co-principle investigator on the new grant and director of archaeology at Monticello.
Built and maintained by the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, and based in the Department of Archaeology at Monticello, the Digital Archaeological Archive of Comparative Slavery (DAACS) is a web-based initiative providing free access to archaeological data in order to foster inter-site comparative archeological research on slavery. DAACS has received major funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The National Endowment for the Humanities, the Reed Foundation, and Monticello. For more information, visit www.daacs.org

Public Archaeology and Local History at Messiah College

As some of you may recall, we recently revamped our public history concentration at Messiah College to include several new courses and a host of non-history courses that we believe students will find useful in the public history field. One of the courses that we have re-purposed for the new concentration is David Pettegrew‘s archaeology course. For the past several years Pettegrew and his students have been excavating at a nearby early 19th century farmhouse, but as word gets out about Pettegrew’s passion for local archaeology projects and Messiah College’s commitment to public history, several other historic sites have asked for help in conducting excavations.

This semester Pettegrew’s class will be doing archaeological work at the Trindle Spring Lutheran Church in Mechanicsburg, PA and a few other sites in the area. Here is a taste of a recent Carlisle Sentinel article on the dig.

That piece of land with the cemetery sits across the street from the current Trindle Spring Lutheran Church building. Ricci said it is believed the original structure is near a limestone wall on cemetery grounds.
The only problem now is proving it.
That’s where Messiah College Professor David Pettegrew and his team of historical archaeology students come in.
Pettegrew, who does archaeological digs in the Mediterranean, is preparing his class for a trip to the Mechanicsburg site on Saturday, Sept. 28, to see if they can discover exactly where the old church is located.
“We’re looking at answering a specific question — can we locate the original foundation of the church log cabin?” Pettegrew said. “According to records that date back to the early 1900s, which may actually reflect observations from earlier, we think the church is located in the southwest corner of the cemetery. There’s a good reason for that this being the original place is true. The area is slightly elevated (above the cemetery grounds).”


Yet another reason to study history at Messiah College!

In Search of Fort Christina

In case you have never heard of Fort Christina, it was built in 1638 by Swedish settlers to the Delaware Valley who settled in and around what today is Wilmington, Delaware.  With the 375th anniversary of the New Sweden Colony upon us, there has been renewed interest in finding the fort.

Harry Themal has it covered at the Wilmington News-Journal.  Here is a taste of his article:

No maps exist of the exact location of the fort, except it was obviously near the Rocks, where the expedition commanded by Dutchman Peter Minuit, ended its voyage from Sweden on March 29, 1638.

Dr. Amandus Johnson, whose 1911 two-volume “The Swedish Settlements on the Delaware” is the definitive history, says the fort was completed in May 1638, two miles from the mouth of the Christina where “nature provided a wharf of stone.” 

“The fort was built in the form of a square, with [four] sharp arrow-like corners, three of which were mounted with artillery. It was built with palisades and earth and was considered to be strong enough to withstand the attach of a very large number of Indians.” 

For that description we must credit Peter Martensson Lindestrom, an engineer who came to New Sweden in 1653 and left when the Dutch took over the settlement. In 1654 he drew maps of the site and the fort along Minquas Kill (the river named for the Minquas Indians), who had established a settlement there. His important drawing was published in his book on American geography and is the frontispiece of Johnson’s book. Minquas Kill is the Christina River. 

An original sketch of the fort also once existed, drawn by Minuit and accompanying his log, deed and treaty with the Lenape Indians, but all disappeared en route to an official of the West India Company.

Revolutionary-Era Stone Wall Discovered in New York City

Workers in New York City have unearthed another remnant of the 18th century.  This time it is a six-foot wall from a building that probably belonged to the Van Cortlandts or the Van Tienhovens.  Here is a taste of the story from DNAinfo.com:

The 6-foot-long wall, found seven feet under the ground in front of 40 Fulton St., was likely part of an 18th-century building that may have belonged to the Van Cortlandts or the Van Tienhovens, two influential early New York families who both owned property in the area, according to Alyssa Loorya, the archaeologist who is documenting the find.

The wall was later buried in landfill when Fulton Street was extended toward the East River.

The discovery of the wall follows several major finds last year in front of 40 Fulton St., near the corner of Pearl Street, including two wells and more than 5,000 artifacts from the turn of the 19th century, from a bone toothbrush to a copper half-penny.

“It’s rare to see so many [preserved] structures in one area of Lower Manhattan,” Loorya said Tuesday. “Despite all the utility interference, there are these remnants that are coming together. It gives us a snapshot of what the area looked like.”

Loorya first spotted a piece of the fieldstone and sandstone wall on Monday, as she monitored the Department of Design and Construction’s excavation of the area to install new water mains.

The 18th-century stones had a different texture and shape from the surrounding rubble, and after some careful digging, the entire 6-foot-long section was exposed. The wall is nearly 3 feet thick and 3 feet tall, though it was likely much taller originally, Loorya said.

The Big Dig at Stouffer Farm

The Messiah College website is reporting on an archaeological dig that we in the History Department sponsor at a 244-year old farm near campus.   We affectionately call the excavation: “The Big Dig at Stauffer Farm.” 

The dig is managed by my colleague David Pettegrew.  It provides a wonderful opportunity for our students to engage in an archaeological project, but it has also been a favorite place for public history students who want to gain experience teaching children about the past.  In conjunction with the Oakes Museum of Natural History, which is located on campus, our students get a chance to work with young archaeologists through the museums “Curator Club.”  And as this article reports, we will soon be investigating the farm through the use of GIS technology.

Just a few miles south of Messiah College, a 244-year-old farm is the site of an archaeological dig involving Messiah students, young participants in the Oakes Museum Curator Club, and older adults from nearby Messiah Village’s Pathways Institute for Lifelong Learning. The treasures from this effort aren’t simply the artifacts buried beneath the ground.  The great value, according to the dig directors, is in collaboratively exploring regional history, answering real research questions and adopting keen problem solving skills.
David Pettegrew, a professor in the Department of History, and Ken Mark, director of the Oakes Museum of Natural History, are overseeing the dig at the Stouffer Farm, a York County property dating back to 1767. The dig has been underway since fall 2010.

Students in Pettegrew’s historical archaeology course were the first to excavate the site. Having an opportunity to dig at a nearby location, rather than overseas, is quite unusual, Pettegrew explains. Student Katie Garland `12 adds, “I am sure that Dr. Pettegrew could work through this site by himself much more quickly if he did not have to teach all of us about the process of archaeology, but he is happy to pass on his expertise and help others learn.”

Pettegrew helps his students understand how to examine a property through an archaeological lens with the greater goal of unearthing artifacts to reveal other details that could help place the farm and the Stouffer family within their regional context. It is still unknown what led Abraham Stouffer and his family to settle on this land just a few miles south of Dillsburg, and even all the suspected uses of the property aren’t entirely confirmed. For example, Pettegrew, Mark and the students are trying to locate a grist and saw mill once located on the site and they’re searching for additional links between the farm and a nearby cemetery where several Stouffers are buried. Questions about the site are plenty. “We’ve only just scratched the surface,” Pettegrew explains.

The process of excavating the area involves establishing an invisible grid over the area to be dug. Then excavation happens in small square units following the natural and cultural layers (the “strata”). All earth removed from the unit is carefully sifted for material culture.  Artifacts discovered in the unit are left in place until completely uncovered. Once uncovered and removed from the site, the artifacts are taken to the Oakes Museum for cleaning, description, analysis, identification and, eventually, display.

So far those digging at the site have found old shoes, ceramics from the late 19th and early 20th century, nails, coal, pieces of metal and animal bones, among others. Excavation of the interior of an on-site outbuilding uncovered garbage pits. That might sound like an unpleasant find but the pits and their contents provide helpful clues as to when that particular building had fallen out of use.

Each day of digging is a bit of an adventure. Garland recalls digging with elementary school children during a Curator Club dig one Saturday when she helped the young students pull out a huge iron chain. “I enjoy talking to the kids about the process and watching them make connections between the artifacts and the history of the site,” Garland adds.

The Stouffer Farm dig has created some great opportunities for collaboration, according to Pettegrew and Mark. Messiah students taking Jeff Erikson’s GIS class are helping to digitize maps. An art history student is currently analyzing the pottery.  Folks doing genealogical research in the area are connecting with the project and adding their own findings to the collected body of research. Visitors to the Oakes Museum enjoy seeing what has been uncovered, and the current owner of the farm, Diane Phillips, is thrilled to know more about her property.

You can follow the dig via photos and blog posts at Stouffer Farm.

Corinthian Matters

My colleague David Pettegrew has started a fascinating new blog/website called “Corinthian Matters.” David is a historian and archaeologist of the ancient city of Corinth. As he puts it in his introductory post:

Presumably you’ve stumbled on this site because you have some interest in things Corinthian. The Corinth canal. Modern archaeology. Or St. Paul and his problematic Christan community.

There’s a good share of Corinthiaka already online in websites on archaeological projects, travel and vacation blogs, and discussions of Pauline epistles. I hope to give some attention here to these. There’s a good deal more Corinthian history and archaeology that is being slowly filtered through academic channels of journals, conferences, dissertations, and books. Such stuff, I figure, could be useful for individuals interested in the classical or Christian history of Corinth.

If you are interested in the ancient world or the New Testament you need to bookmark David’s blog. It is filled with all kinds of interesting information about the city of Corinth.

American History on NPR

Early American history has been getting some good airtime on National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition.”

Check out yesterday’s story on Henry Clay featuring David Heidler, the author of Henry Clay: The Essential American.

Today, “Morning Edition” did a story on that eighteenth-century ship found at the site of the World Trade Center. Loyal readers may remember we blogged about this story last month. Apparently the remains of the ship are in a laboratory in Maryland and they smell a bit like rotten eggs!

Hat tip: John Saillant on H-Net listserv