Webb, or under the auspices of federal agencies, notably the Smithsonian Institution and the National Park Service. New Deal archaeological investigations are often also commonly and uncritically referred to as Works Progress Administration WPA projects, regardless of the actual source of relief funding. William Ritchie , for example, detailed his excavations at the Dutch Hollow site, an early historic Seneca village and associated cemetery in Livingston County, New York, as aided by a WPA crew through the months of September and October As the WPA was not created until McElvaine , some other relief agency must have supported this work.
I first became aware of these issues when I sought to contextualize the historical forces that influenced work relief archaeology in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, by contrasting these investigations to New Deal—funded research elsewhere in the Keystone State Figure 1. As I conducted my research, I quickly learned that considerable work relief archaeology in the state was sponsored and directed by local governments or historical societies, and that, not surprisingly, much of this work was unpublished or inadequately published Means , a, b; Means and Harris Even when the material was published, it was not always identified as resulting from New Deal—funded investigations.
The published account of these excavations left out this information, as well as the name of the person who directed the project, Eugene Gardner Gardner , To further elucidate the full extent and nature of New Deal archaeological investigations in the U. My research began with modern published syntheses such as Fagette , Lyon , and Milner and Smith ; major works produced by the individuals directly involved in the New Deal investigations such as Cross , , Lewis et al.
The proliferation of online access to journals, especially the "Notes and News" section of American Antiquity from the s and s, has facilitated this effort considerably. However, from the perspective of creating a GIS, some of the notes are vague and occasionally imprecise. In the October "Notes and News" Anonymous a , for example, the summary of Pacific Coast area research reported that: The Washington State Museum and the Department of Anthropology have been cooperating with the Spokane Public Museum in an archaeological survey of that part of the Columbia River Basin, which is being flooded through the completion of Coulee Dam.
The digging in this survey is being done as an NYA project, and the work has been in progress since last August. Because this region covers several counties, it is difficult to know even on the county level what geographic area is being described. Searches of online digital journal databases, notably through JSTOR, on either the full names or abbreviations of the New Deal "alphabet soup" programs can turn up accounts of fairly obscure work relief projects that are at best tersely described.
New Deal for Southeastern Archaeology - University of Alabama Press
A report on NYA projects of all categories presented the following summary of excavations near Sacramento: Twenty boys were assigned to dig up Indian graves for the purpose of learning the cultural development of the Indians. They excavated ground to find specimens; they sifted the ground for artifacts; they restored the artifacts and cleaned, assembled and photographed them.
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- Harpers (June 2011)?
- Shop A New Deal For Southeastern Archaeology.
Boys who were specializing in science were selected for this project. They were supervised by the administrative head of the junior college [Anonymous b—88]. I have not as of yet found out if there was a formal publication on this research. As others have noted through the years, much New Deal archaeological work remains unpublished or minimally published, and original field records might prove incomplete or nonexistent. There exists a relatively good index and finding aid McCoy to the WPA reports now in the possession of the NAA, which, in many cases, include excellent site plans, artifact illustrations, and photographs of features and field personnel.
At least for Pennsylvania, I can state that these reports reflect a small portion of the WPA work conducted in the state, and I suspect this is true for other states as well. Because WPA funds were dispersed to localities for officials to fund work as they saw fit, as was true for other relief agencies, the records of these excavations are likely somewhat decentralized as well.
Some archival records and artifacts for Pennsylvania work relief projects are in The State Museum of Pennsylvania or the Pennsylvania State Archives, while others are in the possession of local historical societies Means a, b. Again, this is likely true of many other states as well. A GIS for New Deal Archaeology Creating a GIS for New Deal archaeological investigations seemed the most effective way to display and analyze how work relief projects influenced the development of American archaeology on a national level.
To keep this somewhat ambitious project manageable, I decided to limit the types of work relief projects I would initially map to archaeological surveys and excavations. Considerable efforts were expended by work relief crews on repairing, stabilizing, or reconstructing archaeological sites across the nation; tracking these as part of this pilot GIS effort would have made the project too cumbersome. I am also not examining at present the significant work relief efforts expended on museum collections and research see, for example, Nash , although I plan on incorporating these types of projects in the future as another layer in the GIS.
The current map, created in ArcGIS 10, displays the individual counties within each state where records have been found that at least mention New Deal archaeology having taken place Figure 2.
Once the GIS becomes fully operational, researchers will be able to select a county within a state and obtain information on the type of New Deal archaeological investigations conducted within that county Figure 3. The major variables incorporated into the GIS are: state; county; funding agency e. Individual site locations are currently not being mapped, partly out of an effort to protect those resources, and largely because this would be a prohibitive endeavor given the resources at hand.
Closing Thoughts While not by any means an organized and integrated national effort, New Deal archaeology certainly radically transformed our understanding of America's past, led to the professionalization of archaeology, and generated tremendous collections from significant sites that have enduring value to researchers. New Deal archaeology also represents the one time in history when ordinary American citizens were themselves closely integrated into the efforts to uncover the nation's heritage. Clinton was also a tremendous aid with research conducted at the National Anthropological Archives.
I also would like to thank the staffs of the National Anthropological Archives and the Pennsylvania State Archives for their assistance over the years with obtaining access to original New Deal archaeology records. John Doershuk of Iowa State Archaeology graciously provided a list of sites excavated as work relief projects in Iowa that are incorporated into the GIS map.
All errors or omissions are my responsibility. References Cited Anonymous a Notes and News. American Antiquity — Sullivan, and Rochelle A. Marrinan, pp.
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The University Press of Florida, Gainesville. The WPA conducted extensive restoration work on this site.
WPA crews conducted extensive renovations to Fort Humboldt between and They took pictures, sent to the National Archives in Washington, D. Between and , the Works Progress Administration WPA performed structural renovation and historic restoration work at this site, a remote historic fort 68 miles west of Key West on Bush Key. In , it became a part of Dry… read more. Fort Loudoun was in operation from to , when it was captured by the Cherokee.
It fell to ruin until when it was recognized as an historic site. In , the Tennessee General Assembly purchased the fort and… read more. The WPA performed structural renovation and historic restoration work at this site in WPA crews rebuilt historic Fort Recovery between and The fort was originally built in on the site where Army General Arthur St. Clair was roundly defeated by the armies of a confederation of Miami and Shawnee Native… read more.
WPA crews conducted restoration work at the site between and It has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places, but today… read more. Davis Site 41CE The site yielded artifacts from the Caddoan Mississippian culture that existed… read more. Byron Cummings, director of the Arizona State Museum, and his students began excavation and reconstruction of Kinishba in In… read more. In the… read more.
Roosevelt which wikipedia incorrectly calls an act of Congress in The land was purchased and administered by the Bureau of Biological Survey which… read more. Work also included landscaping and the building of cabins and a lake. The rising Lake Mead threatened a number of important archeological sites along the… read more.
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In , The University of Alabama Museums began a comprehensive effort to rebuild and redefine the… read more. Numerous New Deal agencies had a tremendous impact on the development of Ocmulgee National Monument, the site of pre-Columbian southeastern settlement dating back millennia. The workers cleaned out the tracks and removed debris from the excavation area. The project number… read more.