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KAS Video Series: Volume III

Length: 58:00 minutes

Release: 2009

Distribution: KET – broadcast and schools; KHC – home DVDs

“Historic Archaeology: Beneath Kentucky’s Fields and Streets” examines what archaeologists are learning about the daily lives Euro-American settlers, slaves, laborers and immigrants during the 1800s. This one-hour documentary travels to historic sites across the Commonwealth, blending interviews with video, artifacts, archival photographs and original animation. The documentary is presented in four segments based on archaeological periods: Frontier, Antebellum, Civil War and Industrialization. Each segment features key scientific discoveries made by some of the state’s top archaeologists over the past decade

Volume Three
Segments

Frontier (1770s to 1820s)
Archaeologist Nancy O’Malley describes the role of archival research in efforts to locate hundreds of frontier forts in the Inner Bluegrass region of Kentucky. O’Malley also explains how faunal remains from a hearth at Fort Boonesborough provide a better understanding of the pioneer diet.

Additional Sites 

* Mammoth Cave, Edmonson County
* John Arnold Farmstead, Logan County

Nancy O’Malley conducts archival research at the M.I. King Library, U.K.

Nancy O’Malley conducts archival research at the M.I. King Library, U.K.

Antebellum (1820s-1860s) 
Viewers learn about the discovery of a privy at Ashland filled with over 900 ceramic vessels; the reconstruction of Farmington’s slave cabin, how x-marked objects provide insights into slave culture; and surprising conclusions about the people buried in Old Frankfort Cemetery.

Reconstructed ceramics from the Ashland privy collection.

Reconstructed ceramics from the Ashland privy collection.

Ashland privy
Archaeologist Kim McBride describes investigations into a privy vault discovered at Ashland, The Henry Clay Estate. Filled with over nine hundred ceramic vessels, the Ashland privy collection is providing extraordinary insights into the life of the Clay family, as well as the slaves who worked on the estate during the early 1800s.

Dr. Kim McBride and Carrell Rush
analyze data from the Ashland privy collection.

Dr. Kim McBride and Carrell Rush analyze data from the Ashland privy collection.

Farmington slave cabin
Archaeologist Lori Stahlgren examines the lives of slaves at Farmington Historic Plantation in Jefferson County. Archival documents, surveys and artifacts are used to digitally reconstruct a slave cabin discovered at Farmington; one the state’s largest hemp plantations during the early 1800s.

Surveys and artifacts allowed scholars
to digitally reconstruct Farmington’s slave cabin
as it may have looked in 1840.

Digitally reconstruct Farmington’s slave cabin ca 1840

Archaeology and slave culture
Archaeologist Jay Stottman describes how x-marked artifacts and pierced coins recovered at Riverside provide clues about the “hidden” lives of slaves in Kentucky.

X-marked objects may represent the Bakongo cosmology
from West Africa. Many slaves throughout the southeastern
United States retained this ancient African tradition.

X-marked objects may represent the Bakongo cosmology from West Africa.

Old Frankfort Cemetery
Physical anthropologist Peter Killoran describes research surrounding the discovery of a burial ground during construction of an office complex in Frankfort. Over 240 burials from the early to mid 1800s were documented at Old Frankfort Cemetery. Laboratory analysis is providing surprising details about the health, diet and burial customs of the laborers who helped to build the capital city.


 Physical anthropologist Peter Killoran
measures bones from Old Frankfort Cemetery
in Frankfort.

Physical anthropologist Peter Killoran measures bones from Old Frankfort Cemetery in Frankfort.

Additional sites

* Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill, Mercer County 
* Higbee Tavern, Fayette County - roadside taverns

Civil War (1861-1865)
In Civil War, archaeologists compare architectural plans of fortifications to actual features in the ground, the life of common soldiers and evidence surrounding a tragedy at the refugee encampment site in Camp Nelson.

Archaeologist Stephen McBride at
Camp Nelson Civil War Heritage Park, Jessamine County.

Archaeologist Stephen McBride at Camp Nelson Civil War Heritage Park, Jessamine County.

Battery Hooper
Jeannine Kreinbrink conducts excavations at Battery Hooper, one of a few surviving Civil War fortifications in Northern Kentucky. Archaeological surveys help Kreinbrink compare historical records with actual construction methods used by Union troops to thwart Confederate advances during the “Great Emergency” in 1861. 

Archaeologist Jeannine Kreinbrink describes
the stone foundation at Battery Hooper,
Ramage Civil War Museum, Kenton County.

Archaeologist Jeannine Kreinbrink describes the stone foundation at Battery Hooper, Ramage Civil War Museum, Kenton County.

Camp Nelson refugee encampment
Stephen McBride describes how archaeology provides a better understanding of the common solider at Camp Nelson, a major recruitment center for US Colored Troops. McBride describes his investigation of the Refugee Encampment site where burned materials confirm the location of a Civil War tragedy.

U.S.C.T. soldiers at Camp Nelson, 1864.

U.S.C.T. soldiers at Camp Nelson, 1864.

Additional types of Civil War sites

* Stephen McBride describes how archaeology is used at three types of Civil War sites:

encampments,
fortifications and
battlefields



Industrialization  (1860s to 1910s)

In Industrialization, archaeologists focus on the lives of immigrant families at Portland Wharf Park. Once a major steamboat port, Portland Wharf vanished due to floods, the expansion of the Louisville-Portland canal and the construction of a floodwall. Today, archaeology is being used to preserve the park and reconnect the community with its past.

Portland Wharf Park excavations at lot 56.

Portland Wharf Park
excavations at lot 56.

Portland Wharf Park
Jay Stottman explains archaeology of Portland Wharf and the dynamic between Portland and Louisville with the canal, including 3-D animation of shotgun house of German immigrant family


Additional Sites

* Old Capitol Square privy, Franklin County
* U.S. Marine Hospital, Jefferson County 
* Covington Riverfront Project, Kenton County

Archaeologist Jay Stottman trowels a brick sidewalk at Portland Wharf Park.

Archaeologist Jay Stottman trowels a brick sidewalk at Portland Wharf Park.

 

See Also...
  Companion Webpages
Webpages developed to highlight different aspects of the video
 

Last Updated 1/29/2010
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