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.

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