Tuesday November 12, 2019
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Celebrate Kentucky Archaeology Month

September is Kentucky Archaeology Month, a time dedicated to educating the public about what professional archaeologists do, the methods and techniques of archaeology, and what archaeology can tell us about the history of our state and the people who lived here before us.

For the fourth year, the Kentucky Heritage Council/State Historic Preservation Office (KHC) is hosting a blog, “30 Days of Kentucky Archaeology,” with brief essays by archaeologists, students, and public historians on topics ranging from earthworks to 3D scanning to native plants. Follow at www.30daysofkentuckyarchaeology.wordpress.com.

“The blog is a great way for archaeologists to highlight their research taking place in Kentucky. These blogs let us see how archaeology connects us to those who have come before us through common material culture, food, experiences, and more,” said KHC archaeologist Karen Stevens, organizer.

The 2019 Kentucky Archaeology Month poster features the Paleoindian Period in Kentucky, the first time a single archaeological era has been the focus. The Kentucky Organization of Professional Archaeologists (KyOPA) will offer free copies of the poster at events throughout the state and has also posted an online calendar at their website, www.kyopa.org.

  • Archaeologist Dr. Stephen McBride will discuss the evolution of Camp Nelson – from farmland to Civil War fortification to county park to National Monument – at 6:30 p.m. EDT Monday, Sept 9 at Paul Sawyier Public Library, Frankfort. The presentation is free and sponsored by the library, the Frankfort Civil War Roundtable, and Capital City Museum. No registration required; for information see www.pspl.org/event/camp-nelson/.
  • Corn Island Archaeology will host a public archaeology dig at the Conrad-Seaton House, 10320 Watterson Trail, Jeffersontown, during the annual Gaslight Festival Sept. 13-15. Visitors are invited to stop by to chat or help excavate.
  • “Bourbon Archaeologist” Nick Laracuente will present “Forgotten Distilleries: An Introduction to Bourbon Archaeology” at 6 p.m. EDT Tuesday, Sept. 17, at Paul Sawyier Public Library and again at 6 p.m. EDT Wednesday, Sept. 18, at Scott County Public Library. Laracuente will step back in time to explore findings from archaeological investigations at two farm distilleries in Woodford County and what these forgotten histories can teach us about life and distilling in 1800s Kentucky.

    Both presentations are free but online registration is requested for the Frankfort event. Registration for the Scott County presentation is optional.

  • The largest annual public archaeology event in Kentucky, Living Archaeology Weekend, will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. EDT Saturday, Sept. 21, at Gladie Visitor Center in the Red River Gorge area of Daniel Boone National Forest. This free, family-friendly event features hands-on demonstrations of American Indian and pioneer lifeways and technologies, including hide tanning, spinning, flintknapping, and open-hearth cooking. For information and a list of sponsors, visit www.livingarchaeologyweekend.org.
  • Also Sept 21, Wickliffe Mounds State Historic Site and KHC will co-sponsor Archaeology Day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. CDT. Hands-on demonstrations and activities will include a mock excavation, spear and atlatl throwing, flint knapping, finger and basket weaving, pottery making, and other crafts. Visitors can participate in a drum circle, play musical instruments from indigenous cultures, and view displays of Native American foods and gourds. Admission is $5 for adults and $4 for children, seniors, and military service members. See http://bit.ly/2Zy63Ti for more.

Archaeology Month activities celebrate the professional practice of archaeology and its value to the Commonwealth as well as the importance of protecting and preserving historic and prehistoric archaeological resources. Thousands of archaeological sites have been documented across the state and some are listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

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