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

Month: September 2014

Week 2 – Excavations


This week we continued our excavation of the topsoil of trenches QG5 and QG6. It was a beautiful day, and we worked productively.

Before doing anything else, we cleared out mounds of sod that were still by the trenches. This was in preparation for Brown’s 250th anniversary celebration events on the Quiet Green.

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A new monument to Brown’s history on the Quiet Green

As part of Brown’s 250th celebrations, a new memorial to recognize the university’s connection to (and benefits from) the transatlantic slave trade will be dedicated this Saturday, September 27th. The memorial’s location on the Quiet Green – only a few yards from the house of the first president and our excavations – serves as a reminder of the ways in which the history of the university still carries weight in our daily lives. Although one of our primary research questions involves the search for remains of the first President’s House, we’re also interested in questions of all people impacting or impacted by the spaces of the Quiet Green. This new monument, and the 250th celebrations as a whole, inspire our team to dig deeper (figuratively, and literally) into the material remains of Brown’s past. You may notice our regular fencing has been removed for the weekend, to make way for preparations for the 250th celebrations and monument dedication. Fear not! You can still stop by and check out our early progress behind the yellow safety ropes.

For more information about the events of this weekend, check out the Fall Celebration Schedule.

Excavations are underway!

We’ve already started excavations for the 2014 field season on the Quiet Green. After shooting in our new trenches last week, the fences are up and we started digging on Monday afternoon. Our 2014 students were enjoying the sunny September weather, and made a good start clearing the turf and topsoil. Early finds include lost pennies and lost dorm keys – perhaps if we return them now, we can get the $30 replacement fee back for some poor student?

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Testing Soil and Other Preparations

Last week, as we were finalizing preparations for The Archaeology of College Hill, a team of Joukowsky Institute volunteers gathered to do some text excavating on the Quiet Green. This was part of a larger soil testing project, designed to help us measure the levels of different particulates that sifting our dirt releases into the air, and to make sure that those of us digging during the class wouldn’t be exposed to anything undesirable.

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