Monday, January 28, 2013

Public Archaeology at Fort Vancouver: a partnership in education

The Public Archaeology Field School at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site is a long-running partnership between the National Park Service, Portland State University, and Washington State University Vancouver. For eleven years, the program has introduced the methods and theories of historical archaeology fieldwork to university students while assisting the National Park Service in the management of its cultural resources (Marks 2011). Fort Vancouver National Historic Site is an unparalleled archaeological laboratory, comprising the remains of fur trade Fort Vancouver (ca.1825-1860) and Vancouver Barracks, the first (ca. 1849-2011) permanent U.S. Army post in the Pacific Northwest (Wilson 2008; Wilson and Langford 2011).

View of the Reconstructed Village Houses 1 and 2 
The 2013 Public Archaeology Field School will continue a long-term exploration of the multicultural Village (“Kanaka Village”), the largest colonial period settlement in the Pacific Northwest ca. 1829-1845. Residents included Native Hawaiians, the M├ętis, and people of many different American Indian tribes (Wilson 2008, 2012). Later, the village was the site of the Quartermaster’s Depot, part of a World War I Spruce Mill, which cut aviation-grade spruce for America’s war effort, and a barracks and training compound for the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). The 2013 field school will explore these sites and continue to collect data on the Old City Cemetery (45CL887), one of the oldest cemeteries in the City of Vancouver, Washington. The cemetery has suffered from repeated vandalism and the project will collect baseline information on headstone condition, and their styles, decorations, and inscriptions to help in its future preservation.

This year's field school provides a research context to deploy a test of mobile information technology in a variety of field situations, while providing a means to expand use of mobile devices in future heritage preservation. 

Marks, Jeffrey

Wilson, Douglas C.
 2008 Fort Vancouver and Vancouver Barracks. In Archaeology in America: An Encyclopedia, pp. 209-212, Francis P. McManamon, editor. Greenwood Press, Westport, CT.
 2011 Hawaiian Identity, Economy, and Landscape at the Multicultural Fort Vancouver Village. Paper prepared for the Symposium “Kanaka”: Native Hawaiians on the American Frontier, Chair and Organizer Chelsea E. Rose, Society for Historical Archeology’s Conference on Historical and Underwater Archeology, Austin, Texas, January 5-9, 2011. (Published at Projects in Parks, Archaeology Program, National Park Service, Fall 2012 ).
  2012 The Decline and Fall of the Hudson’s Bay Company Village at Fort Vancouver. Association of Oregon Archaeologists Occasional Paper Series 10. (in press).

Wilson, Douglas C. and Theresa E. Langford, Editors
  2011 ExploringFort Vancouver. University of Washington Press, Seattle.

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