Sunday, December 6, 2015

Artifact of the Month December 2015

Artifacts found below an 1820s-1840s summer house associated with the 19th-century St. Mary's Hall female Episcopalian Seminary in Burlington City, Burlington County, New Jersey. The artifacts include glass tubes from the science lab (A), tobacco pipe stem (B), a Catholic ivory rosary bead (C), a faux gem glass love token given by one student to another that says "Love To Thee" (D), a perfume stopper (E), a writing slate with scored lines (F), slate pencils (G), perfume bottle (H). The site contained important information about education and boarding school life at a 19th-century female seminary. (Description by Michael J. Gall)
Photograph by Allison A. Gall.

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 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: I ask that volunteers do sign up ahead of time.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Artifact of the Month - September 2015

This fragment of an 18th-century wine bottle seal was recovered from EU 2N during Monmouth University’s 2011 Field School at White Hill Mansion in Fieldsboro, NJ.  The seal is marked with the partial date, either 54 or 64, presumably 1754 or 1764, which coincided with Robert Field, Sr.’s ownership and occupation of the site. Seals of this nature are normally associated with individuals of wealth(White and Beaudry 2009:216) and were symbols of identity, particularly male identity (Veit and Huey 2014). 

Fragment of an 18th-century wine bottle seal
From EU 2N.
Photographer: Richard Veit; Date: April 9, 2012.

Veit, Richard and Paul R. Huey
2014       “New Bottles Made with My Crest”: Colonial Bottle Seals from Eastern North America, a Gazetteer and Interpretation.  Northeast Historical Archaeology 43:54-91.

White, C. L. and M.C. Beaudry

2009    Artifacts and Personal Identity.  In International Handbook of Historical Archaeology, ed. by Teresita Majewski and David Gaimster, pp. 209-219, Springer, New York.

"Do you have an artifact or object you'd like to submit to ASNJ's "Artifact of the Month" website posting? If so, please send a photograph, a brief description and a photo credit to, subject heading: ASNJ Artifact." - ASNJ Webmaster

Thursday, August 20, 2015

ASNJ Highlight-

Greetings! ASNJ did not receive an artifact of the month submission for August until very late in the month, ASNJ will therefore suspend posting this artifact post until September 1. Instead, ASNJ would like to take the opportunity to highlight Kiersten Fuchs, who kindly sent ASNJ a personal description about her current involvement in New Jersey's archaeological community. Please forward your own submission to ASNJ's webmaster, ASNJ wants to hear from you!
ASNJ readers,
Hello, my name is Kiersten Fuchs.

I currently hold a BA in History from Fairleigh Dickinson University and will be completing my MA in Anthropology from Monmouth University in May. For my thesis research I am looking at how the inhabitants of the Barnegat Bay (New Jersey) region, starting with the Lenape Indians, have provided the area with hertiage, culture, and a unique sense of identy. I chose this topic because I have lived with the Barnegat Bay as my backyard my entire life and often wondered how my identity was influenced by the area. My goal for this thesis is to look at the variety of people, places, and events and how they all tie into one another in giving the Jersey Shore, specifically the Barnegat Bay region, its identity, heritage, and culture. Visitors and even many locals are unaware of what has happened in the past right in their area(s) and I hope to shed light on the importance of history, anthropology, and archaeology within the region. 

Although I am focusing my thesis on a more anthropological basis, my heart lies with archaeology. Historical archaeology has been passion. I have worked with Dr. Veit on the Cedar Bridge Tavern dig in the Pine Barrens and Parker Farms in Little Silver, NJ. I have also worked on a dig in Maryland under the direction of John Dysart. 

I hope this information helps you and if there is anything more that I can provide, please do not hesitate to ask. 

Kiersten Fuchs

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

ASNJ Artifact of the Month - July 2015

Photo Credit: Jo Grabas Sr.

This month's artifact is a jasper tear drop projectile point, recovered from Turkey Swamp State Park during Monmouth University's 2015 field school season. This is a prehistoric artifact.  The point was one of several exciting finds discovered this season. The park plans to eventually erect a display that will show several artifacts recovered from the park. Field school instructors and staff will analyze the data collected during the season over the next year. 

Friday, June 26, 2015

ASNJ Volunteers- Dig on Saturday!

ASNJ will be digging with Monmouth University fieldschool students on Saturday at Turkey Swamp State Park in Freehold, New Jersey. Please read the following:
Professors: Richard Veit and Sean McHugh
Location: Turkey Swamp
Project Description: Monmouth University's 2015 archaeological field school will be held at one of the Northeast's preeminent archaeological sites, Turkey Swamp, in Freehold, Monmouth County, New Jersey. Previous excavations at the site unearthed artifacts covering the entire span of prehistoric occupation in the eastern United States from the Paleo-Indian through the Contact Period. Our work will focus on re-identifying the site of earlier excavations and exploring several new sites within the park. Students will learn archaeological field and lab methods and be introduced to current debates on regional prehistory through lectures and activities.
All ASNJ members are invited to attend. Due to insurance reasons, members must have an active ASNJ membership (meaning that you have renewed or recently joined us). If you are not a member of ASNJ or you have allowed your membership to expire, you can not dig. Interested members are asked to meet the MU fieldschool staff and students on Saturday morning at 9AM at the soccer field parking lot. Directions to the parking lot can be found here. Please bring plenty of water, sunscreen, bug/tick repellent and pack a lunch. Volunteers and students will travel from the parking lot to the site on foot through a densely wooded area with thick vegetation, please dress appropriately. Long pants, high socks, work gloves, hats and boots are best. Please be aware that there may be poison ivy on site. If you are allergic to bees, please prepare yourself accordingly. 

We hope to see you there!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Artifact of the Month- June 2015

Photo Credit: Dr. Rich Veit

Photo Credit: Dr. Rich Veit
This month’s artifact is from a local museum display, located at Historic Walnford in Crosswicks, New Jersey.  The Monmouth County Parks website has this to say about Walnford:

Picturesque after a snowfall, full of fascinating history throughout the year, any day is a great time to visit this wonderful historic site and learn more about the Waln family and the evolution of Walnford over two centuries - from an 18th century industrial village and family farm to an elegant country estate. At the heart of the Crosswicks Creek Park (1436 acres), the site showcases over 200 years of social, technological and environmental history through the Waln family.

In the nineteenth-century a German officer was traveling through the area with two other officers. They approached a creek on the property and decided to wade through to the other side.  One of the officers became separated from his horse during the crossing after his horse suddenly sank into a hole in the creek. The two eventually made their way back to shore, it was then that the officer noticed he had lost a spur during the ordeal. The boy who witnessed this event eventually grew into an old man and would later discover a spur during a construction project along the same creek.  This spur is on display at the Walnford museum along with corresponding letters which describe these first-hand accounts.

Special thanks to Dr. Rich Veit for this Artifact of the Month submission.

Do you have an artifact or object you'd like to submit to ASNJs "Artifact of the Month" website posting? If so, please send a photograph, a brief description and a photo credit to, subject heading: ASNJ Artifact.

thank you!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Spirit of the Jersey's State History Fair- May 9th

ASNJ plans to attend this event tomorrow. Feel free to stop by our table, pick up an ASNJ t-shirt, renew your membership, start a membership or check out the artifacts we'll have on display. Archaeologists and enthusiasts will be present and more than willing to talk to you about our organization and upcoming events. We hope to see you there!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Artifact of the Month- May

Photo Credit: Allison Gall
This curious object is a scale weight. This weight could have been used by merchants to weigh money. Apothecaries once used similar weights to weigh medicinal herbs or other ingredients. This artifact dates to the 18th century and is associated with the Verree family of Burlington City, NJ.

Special thanks to Michael and Allison Gall for this Artifact of the Month submission.

Do you have an artifact or object you'd like to submit to ASNJ's "Artifact of the Month" website posting? If so, please send a photograph, brief description and a photo credit to, subject heading- ASNJ Artifact.

Thank you!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Meeting May 16, 2015

Archaeological Society of NJ meeting Meeting date: Saturday, May 16, 2015 Location: East Jersey Olde Towne Address: 1050 River Road, Piscataway Township, NJ

10:00-11:00: Tour of the Raritan Landing Exhibit. Meet in the parking lot to start the tour.
11:00-12:00: Board Meeting  
12:00-12:45: Lunch on your own
1:00-1:15 Opening Remarks and President’s Welcome

Lecture Series  
1:15-1:45: “Carpets, Cook Stove and a Lounge: Victorian Ideals in an Eighteenth Century Piscataway  Farmhouse” by Mark Nonestied – Division Head, Middlesex County Cultural & Heritage    Commission
1:45-2:15: "White Hill and Morven: Identity Construction and Maintenance among the  Delaware Valley’s Rural Elite" by Lauren Lembo – RGA, Monmouth University

2:15-2:45: Break

2:45-3:15:  “Looking for the Void: Mapping the Piscatawaytown Graveyard in Search of the 17th-   Century Townhouse” by Michael Gall – RGA
3:15-3:45 “Conclusions from a Geodatabase of Ernest Volk’s Excavations at Lalor Field: 1894 –    1895” by Andrew Martin – Monmouth University

Please note: Seating is limited at this venue. Please contact Daryl Daum to reserve a spot.

NEW! ASNJ Membership Highlights

The Archaeological Society of New Jersey will begin publishing one ASNJ member highlight on the website each month. To achieve this goal, ASNJ needs your help to make this happen! If you are an archaeology student, professional, or otherwise involved in ASNJ, please send a brief biography of yourself to the webmaster. The bio should address the following questions:

What is your name and your research interests?  What projects have you worked on, volunteered or interned with? How do you currently contribute to the field of archaeology?  If you are writing a thesis, what is the central focus of the thesis project and what do you hope to achieve with your finished work? If you are in an academic program, what is your expected graduation date? What is your program and the name of your university? Optional information may include: your contact information, an academia profile link, a short list of your pending publications, professional photo of you at work, additional professional associations or degrees (Ex: RPA, MA, BA, etc.). If you are a member of ASNJ and not a professional archaeologist or student, we still want to hear from you. Tell us about a recent museum exhibit or event you've attended. Submit a photo of yourself attending the event, if you have one. Where was it, what was it about, etc?

Biographies should not exceed 300 words. Please send your biography to, subject heading needs to read ASNJ Monthly Highlight.

Please submit your biography by the 10th of each month to allow time for additional editing, These posts will be published on the 15th of each month. Please send yours soon, we want to hear from you!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Mobilizing the Past

The Wentworth Institute of Technology hosted the first (hopefully annual) digital technology conference, entitled "Mobilizing the Past for a Digital Future." The conference informed attendees about the uses and misuses of digital technology in archaeological fieldwork and preservation projects. ASNJ Webmaster, Tabitha Hilliard attended the conference in Boston and ASNJ Treasurer, Michael Gall, attended via live webstream. Topics throughout the conference included:  photogrammetry, drone implementation, GISPro, 3D scanning, etc.

If you missed the conference, feel free to watch it now!  The Wentworth Institute of Technology has planned to archive all presentations, most of them are already available for viewing. Click here.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Meeting, March 21, 2015 at Abbott Farm Archaeological Site

Archaeological Society of NJ meeting
Meeting: Saturday, March 21, 2015 at
Tulpehaking Nature Center,
part of John A. Roebling Memorial Park
and Abbott Farm Archaeological Site.
Address: 157 Westcott Ave., Hamilton, NJ

Directions: From South Broad St. turn west onto West Park Ave. The closest intersection to the park is West Park Avenue and Westcott Avenue. Turn left onto Westcott Avenue and then right at the sign into Roebling Park.  Parking for the nature center is the lot near the Watson house, on the right just before the road descends downhill. Across the road from the parking area, there is a metal bench near a path leading to the nature center, which has a new yellow addition.

10:00-11:00:        Tour of the Abbott Farm Archaeological Site, led by Gregory Lattanzi.
                                For the tour, meet inside the Nature Center at 10 am
11:00-12:00:        Board Meeting

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

1:00-1:15              Opening Remarks and President’s Welcome
Lecture Series
1:15-1:45:            “Archaeology from the Tulpehaking Nature Center” by Jim Lee (Hunter Research)
1:45-2:15:            “An Unusual Paleoamerican Cache Find in Eastern Pennsylvania: Experiments and Insights into Fluted Point Manufacture” by Jack Cresson

2:15-2:45:            Break
2:45-3:15:            “The Importance of Revisiting Artifact Assemblages: A Closer Look at the Turkey Swamp Collection through the Lens of GIS” by Evan Mydlowski

3:15-3:45              A Comparative Study of African American Identity  Creation in Antebellum New Jersey by Jamie Ancheta

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Attention MAAC Members and Students...

The Middle Atlantic Archaeology Conference of 2015 will be held at the Clarion in Ocean City, MD from March 12-15. To register, please go here. In addition, MAAC will have it's MAAC Student Committee group. Please follow MAACSC on facebook and read the details below:

The MAAC Student Committee is a group for current and recent undergraduate and graduate students within the Middle Atlantic Archaeological Conference. We provide student themed events at the annual conference and work to encourage interest among students in professional archaeology. The MAAC Student Committee communicates important information to students and young professionals within the conference membership. We serve as a liaison between student members and the MAAC Board.

The Student Committee will be holding its first two events at the 2015 conference in Ocean City, Maryland. On Friday afternoon we will be hosting an exploratory meeting to determine interest in membership and the goals of the committee. During this informal roundtable, we will discuss what members want from the committee and what would best serve them, as students and young professionals. All MAAC members are welcome to attend and contribute ideas to the formation of this new committee.

The second event will be held on Saturday evening at the Clarion Hotel, just prior to the Reception. The Student Committee invites you to attend the first annual Student Mixer. Students are invited to talk, laugh, dance and enjoy each other’s company. Dance music will be provided. Students are also invited to participate in an optional “Pick & Play.” (Students would need to bring their own acoustic instruments, no formal equipment will be provided). This social networking opportunity is open to student members only. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

January Meeting Update

We are happy to report that our first meeting of the year was a great success! We kicked off the new year with our first annual Artifact Show and Learn, an event where archaeologists and enthusiasts were invited to bring their collections to show and discuss.  Professional archaeologists were available throughout the event to provide interpretations of any artifact brought to their attention. The meeting concluded with a presentation, The I-95 Project, presented by URS Archaeologists. We were happy to see so many new faces and familiar friends, thank you for coming out! If you were unable to attend the January meeting, please continue to check our webpage and facebook for information pertaining to future meetings and events. Also, be sure to check out these candid shots we nabbed over the weekend:

Like what you see? Check out more photos from this event and updates for future meetings on facebook  , we hope to see you soon!