Celebrating the history and archaeology of Brown University and Providence, Rhode Island

Month: October 2013

A New “Thing” for Brown’s Campus

Indomitable - Artist Nick Bibby has created a 10-foot bronze Kodiak bear to be installed on Ittleson Quadrangle Monday morning, Oct. 28.

Artist Nick Bibby has created a 10-foot bronze Kodiak bear installed on Ittleson Quadrangle Monday morning, Oct. 28.

Brown is adding a new “thing” to our campus.  Courtney Coelho’s article, “Brown to install ‘Indomitable’ bear,” shares the installation schedule for this “latest public art incarnation of Brown’s bear mascot”: http://news.brown.edu/pressreleases/2013/10/bear

And Coelho’s follow-up article on the statue’s installation on October 28th gives some background on the choice of artist and location, as well as on the history behind the Brown mascot.  According to the Encyclopedia Brunoniana, Theodore Francis Greene, Class of 1887,  was the primary advocate for adoption of the bear as Brown’s mascot in 1904.  The article quotes a relevant passage from the Encyclopedia about choosing this mascot:

“While it may be somewhat unsociable and uncouth, it is good natured and clean. While courageous and ready to fight, it does not look for trouble for its own sake, nor is it bloodthirsty. It is not one of a herd, but acts independently. It is intelligent and capable of being educated.”

“Indomitable” is 14 feet tall, and according to Coelho, is “reportedly the largest bronze sculpture of a bear ever made in Britain”!


Catherine Teitz ’14: Classical Statues of Brown University

Two classical statues – often misidentified, confused, and abused – have watched over campus life since they were dedicated more than 100 years ago. Marcus Aurelius and Caesar Augustus guard their greens, providing a block for studying students to lean against and an elevated platform to advertise everything from events to holidays. These statues, modeled on Roman originals, were gifts of Moses Brown Ives Goddard, class of 1854. Continue reading

Week 4 – Excavations

Quiet Green Trench 3 (QG3)

This week in QG3, we worked in two contexts. In context 5, we used handpicks to excavate quickly. Context 5 was a light orange, clayey soil.  For the most part, it was wet and clumpy, which made it slightly difficult to sift, but didn’t present any other significant problems.  We encountered context 6 later in the day.  Context 6 was a darker soil that formed a circular deposit on the western edge of the trench.  We fully excavated the area, which returned to context 5 when context 6 was completely removed. 

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Family Weekend – Excavations

Quiet Green Trench 3 (QG3)

It was a beautiful, breezy October day. At 10:00am, the class began to venture further down in both trenches. In trench 3, we used large pick axes and found a large amount of brick, which were pieces that were noticeably larger than before. Shards of pottery were also found, some were painted with blue designs, and others were what seemed like tile, glazed on one side. Continue reading

Janice Havasy ’16: University Hall


“Wrought in the 10th Year of her age” by Abigail Adams Hobart depicting Rhode Island College (Courtesy of Janet M. Phillips Brown University: A Short History)

As you trudge up the steep path of College Hill from downtown Providence, the Van Wickle Gates and University Hall welcome you to the main campus of Brown University. University Hall’s administrative offices, bell tower and timeless colonial style has assured its place as the center of Brown’s campus. University Hall started out as the only building on Rhode Island College’s campus. It was built in 1770, modeled after Nassau Hall at Princeton, although it ended up being slightly simpler than its New Jersey counterpart. Robert Smith designed Nassau Hall in 1756 in the Georgian-Colonial style and – just like Brown’s University Hall – Nassau Hall was designed to house the entirety of New Jersey College at that time.

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Week 3 – Excavations

Our excavation on October 7th reinforced patterns from last excavation day, as Trench 3 continued to produce more numerous finds while Trench 4 provided more variety in contexts. We were also able to begin to use the total station for the first time to measure more exactly our context elevations and points in both trenches. A total station is a piece of equipment that measures coordinates and distances.

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