Skip to content

Work Relief Archaeology: Laboring for the Past

September 1, 2014

Great post by Bernard Means on the WPA role in archaeology. I am pleased to work today at the C.H. Nash Museum at Chucalissa with NCCC AmeriCorps Teams, the legacy today from those earlier projects!

New Deal Archaeology

by Bernard K. Means

Winder excavation at Powell 1 Winder excavation at Powell 1

B8240_powell 1 excavation

Today is Labor Day in the United States and I wanted to briefly thank the men and women who worked so hard during the Great Depression to uncover our nation’s past.  So many of us rely on the records they generated and the artifacts that they recovered for our own research–in fact, I finished an article yesterday on two American Indian sites excavated by a Work Projects Administration (WPA) crew in Somerset County, Pennsylvania.  For the Powell 1 and 2 sites, I was able to perform sophisticated statistical analyses because of the care that the WPA field director, Edgar E. Augustine, took with the sites.  He did this under difficult circumstances–constantly shifting crews of varying experience, and brutally cold days as well.

A tip of my metaphorical had to the men and women of the WPA, as well as the CCC…

View original post 15 more words

3 Comments leave one →
  1. September 1, 2014 8:54 pm

    Thanks. It would be interesting to contrast today’s AmeriCorps archaeology with that of the past….. maybe we can talk at the next SAAs……

    • September 1, 2014 8:59 pm

      Much more working on collections processing and building exhibits, and structures at our earthworks and along the nature trail.

      • September 1, 2014 9:08 pm

        Quite of that happened with the WPA and NYA museum extension programs as well, but not something I have explored yet in detail–just a bit with the Southwest Museum in L.A. where I got my start as a lowly undergraduate…..

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: