Battle of Rhode Island Association and Van Beuren Foundation Sponsors Archaeology Field School

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Ground penetrating radar (GPR).

Students from Salve Regina University, Stonehill College, and the University of Kentucky will be heading to Butts Hill Fort for a five-week Archaeological Field School beginning on May 28th. The non-invasive survey will teach students methodologies useful for skill building in archaeology but also engineering, architecture, and cultural resource management. The students will also gain valuable experience in the labs and archives at Stonehill College. They will benefit from key speakers and lectures on revolutionary history and visit RI sites and museums that feature both indigenous culture and historic slave medallions, gaining perspective and working on projects in museum studies. The research that is conducted alongside the field school using non-invasive magnetometry and ground penetrating radar is made possible through a Van Beuren Foundation Grant and will give valuable insights into the construction, use, and evolution of the Fort (1775-1783). Students will also be working on projects utilizing digital archaeology and visual anthropology to help create educational displays and resources for future visitors to the fort.

Dr. Alexandra Uhl (Stonehill College) and Jay Waller (The Public Archaeology Laboratory, Inc.) are the principal investigators. Although there has been some archaeological work done at or near the Fort (www.battleofrhodeisland.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/Butts-Hill-Fort-Draft-Archaeological-Assessment-29-AUG-2022.pdf) it is very limited in scope. This effort will attempt to locate barracks, privies, magazines, and other features no longer visible. We expect a report will be available in the fall.

The Van Beuren Foundation also funded a diversity in science stipend to support one of the students of an underrepresented background.

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