History and Archaeology

I am a historian first and foremost. I spend my time in libraries and archives; I read through deed books and city directories; I survey buildings and structures (and yes there is a difference). But, I also have experience in the field as an archaeologist, albeit somewhat minimal. There is no need for me to outline the countless differences between the methodologies of these disciplines … Continue reading History and Archaeology

Appalachian Stereotypes and the Case of Cosmopolitan Coal Camps

Stereotypes about Appalachia, the largely mountainous region stretching 420 counties from New York to Mississippi, have abounded in the media for the past 150 years. Appalachia has been portrayed as a totally rural, homogenous region: a backwards, backwoods colony of poor white hillbillies lagging behind the rest of America in terms of moral, material, and social development. In truth, Appalachia is a diverse region, and … Continue reading Appalachian Stereotypes and the Case of Cosmopolitan Coal Camps

Iron Furnaces of Kentucky

Did you know during the 18th and early 19th century Kentucky was the 3rd largest producer of iron in the country? The first iron making operation in Kentucky began in 1791 with Bourbon Iron Works – before Kentucky was a state! Fig. 1. Rare photograph of a 19th century iron furnace in operation, probably from eastern Kentucky.  Photo undated, on file, Cumberland District Office, Daniel … Continue reading Iron Furnaces of Kentucky

Worked Deer Shoulder (Scapulae) Blades from Fox Farm

Fox Farm is a large archaeological site located in Mason County, Kentucky.  The site was occupied from ca. A.D 1300 to 1650 by sedentary farmers of the Fort Ancient culture and is one of the largest and most intensely occupied Fort Ancient village sites in the middle Ohio Valley.  As part of ongoing research on the faunal remains recovered from this site from 2009-2016, four … Continue reading Worked Deer Shoulder (Scapulae) Blades from Fox Farm

What Can We Learn From “Dirt”? Geoarchaeology at a Sinkhole in Kentucky

Enter the time machine…   You are rocketed 5000 years into the past.   It is 3017 B.C. and you are overlooking a large sinkhole in what will someday be Warren County, Kentucky. It is a sweltering summer afternoon. A dozen hunter-gatherers have settled within the sink, refreshed by the cool air rising from the cave entrance below. As they knap brittle stone into spear … Continue reading What Can We Learn From “Dirt”? Geoarchaeology at a Sinkhole in Kentucky