Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Artifact of the Month: November 2015

Photography by Allison Gall

Neo-classical polychrome and blue painted pearlware tea wares. This burnt set was recovered from a late 18th-century out kitchen in Manalapan, New Jersey that was destroyed by fire around 1799. The set includes a two-cup teapot and two tea bowls.

ASNJ still needs an artifact for January 2016- please send your submission to thilliard@rgaincorporated.com with the subject heading "ASNJ Artifact." Please include a 2-3 sentence description of the artifact and a photo credit. 
~Tabitha Hilliard, ASNJ Webmaster

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

ASNJ Gloucester County Chapter Activity

The Gloucester County Chapter recently provided a display of archaeological and historical material at the reenactment event held at Red Bank Battlefield Park on Oct. 18, 2015. 

Monday, October 19, 2015

Artifact of the Month: October 2015

(Photograph by Allison Gall)

Decorative copper alloy plate to a Revolutionary War-era ammunition cartridge box associated with the Fusilier Regiment Erbprinz showing the crowned lion of Hess.   This artifact was likely part of a decorative plate on a Hessian artillery cartridge box from the Fusilier Regiment Erbprinz and was found in a well at an 18th-century farmstead in Manalapan, New Jersey near Monmouth Battlefield.  While no skirmishes were reported on the site, the Battle of Monmouth was fought in 1778 roughly one mile northeast of the site and it may have been collected by one of the site occupants as a battle souvenir. 

Thursday, October 8, 2015

October Meeting Announcement

Archaeological Society of New Jersey

October 17, 2015 at Feltville, The Deserted Village, Watchung Reservation.

9 Cataract Hollow Road, Berkeley Heights, NJ 07922

10:00 am: Feltville village staff will be available at the Church/Store building to give ASNJ

members an overview of the history of the site. They will set those who want off onto a self-

guided tour.

11:00-12:00: Board Meeting (Masker’s Barn)

12:00-12:45: Lunch on your own

1:00-1:15: Opening Remarks and Welcome

Lecture Series

1:15-1:45: “Revisiting the Turkey Swamp Site” by Sean McHugh and Evan Mydlowski -

(Monmouth University)

1:45-2:15: “An Enigmatic Prehistoric Archaic Manifestation on the NJ Coastal Plain” by

Jack Cresson

2:15-2:45:  Break

2:45-3:15: “The Snyder Paleoindian Complex, Carpentersville, New Jersey” Presented by

Jennifer C. Rankin - (Temple University / AECOM), co authored by R. Michael Stewart (Temple

University / NJ HPO)

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Sean Bratton 1975-2015

The ASNJ is deeply saddened by the recent, sudden death of our friend, colleague, and  long-standing member Sean Bratton. Born July 8, 1975 in Kearny Township, and later a resident of Ocean Grove, Princeton, Jackson, and Allentown, New Jersey, Sean graduated from Kearny High School in 1993. He began his  successful career in archaeology while an undergraduate in the Department of Anthropology at New York University.  In 1999, while a student, Sean accepted a position as a Research Assistant with Richard Grubb & Associates, Inc. (RGA), in Cranbury, New Jersey, and became an active member of the society in 2000. Sean consistently demonstrated his technical skills, competency, and high level of responsibility as an archeologist, and was quickly promoted to the position of crew chief, a role in which he served for 16 years with RGA. While working for RGA, Sean conducted hundreds of archaeological surveys in New Jersey, New York,  Pennsylvania, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, Ohio, and West Virginia, where he was critical in efforts to identify, evaluate, and mitigate numerous significant historic and prehistoric period archaeological sites. As a crew chief, Sean was a mentor and an exceptionally warm-hearted friend for the countless archaeologists with whom he worked. His genuine, compassionate, sociable character, humor, irreverence,  infectious smile and laughter always lightened the atmosphere, reminding those whose lives he touched that each moment of life should be enjoyed to the fullest.

Sean excavating an 18th century well in
 Monmouth County, NJ.
Sean’s passion for archaeology and desire to generously share his knowledge with others carried through to his long involvement with Brookdale Community College, Monmouth Battlefield State Park, the Battlefield Restoration and Archaeological Volunteer Organization, Monmouth University, and several salvage archaeology endeavors. In the early 2000s, Sean volunteered as a group leader, material culture analyst, and co-director for several archaeological field schools with Brookdale Community College at the Parsonage Site in Monmouth Battlefield State Park, New Jersey, which led to important new insights into the Revolutionary War Battle of Monmouth. Sean also instructed undergraduates as a group leader for Monmouth University’s archaeological  field schools between 2004 and 2011 at Merchants and Drovers Tavern in Rahway, Seabrook-Wilson House in Middletown, Abraham Staats House in South Bound Brook, Cedar Bridge Tavern in Barnegat, White Hill Mansion in Fieldsboro, and Joseph Bonaparte’s Point Breeze Estate in Bordentown, New Jersey. Sean generously volunteered countless hours for archaeologically excavating and mapping structures at Point Breeze, arguably one of New Jersey’s greatest cultural resources. Sean’s careful excavations were also critical to identifying the remains of numerous colonial earth-supported buildings in New Jersey, a resource type that had been commonly overlooked previously. Sean undeniably left a lasting, positive impact on current archaeological knowledge in New Jersey.

Here is Sean doing some of the things he loved.
These photos show the joie de vivre
that made him special to so many of us.
Sean rarely missed a society gathering, where members enjoyed his conversation and inquisitive questions. Sean was also a long-standing member of the Eastern States Archaeological Federation and the Middle Atlantic Archaeological Conference. His love for archaeology and interest in the society stemmed from his love for the outdoors, and what better way to enjoy the outdoors and meet new friends than as an archaeologist. An avid camper, hiker, fisherman, reader, and sports fan, Sean also eagerly traveled the United States, searching for the best places nature could provide, where he might enjoy quality time with a friend fishing for bass or find peace and solace contemplating life while hiking and camping. Sean will be forever missed by close friends, associates, and colleagues alike, who looked to him as a model of humanity, a person who constantly demonstrated unselfish generosity, unwavering friendship, true compassion, love, and benevolence.

Sean is survived by his aunt and uncle Pat and Diane Brannigan, cousin Patrick Brannigan, brother William Bratton, and numerous friends and colleagues. A memorial research scholarship fund and memorial service are being planned and will be announced further in upcoming issues of the newsletter and other ASNJ forums. 

*Thank you to Sean's friends and colleagues, Michael J. Gall, Ilene Grossman-Baily, Allison Gall, Ken Conrad, Tara Erdreich, Laura Chushman, and Paul George, for their photo contributions to this ASNJ post and ASNJ's most recent Newsletter. This blogpost has been copied over from our recent October 2015 Newsletter.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Dig Announcement - September 26-27

The following post is from Michael J. Gall, ASNJ Treasurer:

The ASNJ and the Middlesex County Cultural and Heritage Commission are teaming up to conduct a two-day dig at the Piscatawaytown Burial Ground and Town Green in Edison Township, Middlesex County, New Jersey on Saturday and Sunday, September 26-27, 2015.  Rain or shine, the dig will take place between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm each day in the baseball field behind the St. James Episcopal Church (located at 2316 Woodbridge Avenue, Edison, NJ). Parking can be found behind the church and graveyard.   The archaeological survey will begin with a shovel test pit grid and may included two (2) three-foot square units.  

The town green is part of the original Piscataway settlement, dating from the 1660s and contained a town house, ammunition magazine, jail, stocks, and an early church.  We are hoping to find archaeological evidence the 17th-century buildings and evidence of militia training. We will also be working in an area near a Revolutionary War skirmish.  There will be formal tours of the 17th-century cemetery, the St. James Episcopal Church, and a discussion of the town history/archaeology between 1:00 and 4:00 pm each day.  Tours are free of charge.  We ask that if you want to participate in the excavation, that you be a current ASNJ member.  I can accommodate up to 10 volunteers each day. A sign up genius has been created for those wishing to sign up and volunteer and the link can be found here: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/30e0544a8ab2aa02-archaeology I ask that volunteers do sign up ahead of time.