Advertisement

Archaeology as a Building Block for Popular Memory

  • Jed Levin
  • Patrice L. Jeppson
Chapter
Part of the One World Archaeology book series (WORLDARCH)

Abstract

The construction of an archaeological identity within the US archaeological profession has long determined how significance is constructed as part of US preservation law and regulatory policy. In this chapter, this codified framework guiding professional practice is set aside to examine instead a determination of significance by a living community, and their construction of common memory at and with an archaeological site overtime. This study involves local public involvement with the ruins of the President’s House Site, 1790–1800, located in Independence National Historical Park (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA), which are central to a commemoration memorializing the story of freedom and slavery at the birth of the USA. The public’s activity with and at the site begs heritage resource specialists to more broadly interpret professional guidelines so as to account for that which society may value as significant rather than what the heritage profession privileges.

Keywords

Transforming Heritage Practice Community-centered determinations of “significance” Archaeology and African American heritage 

References

  1. Altschul, J. H. (2004). Significance in American cultural resource management: Lost in the past. In C. Mathers, T. Darvill, & B. J. Little (Eds.), Heritage of value, archaeology of renown: Reshaping archaeological assessment and significance (pp. 192–210). Gainesville: University of Florida Press.Google Scholar
  2. Castaneda, Q., & Mathews, C. N. (2008). Reflections on stakeholders and archaeological practices. New York: Alta Mira Press.Google Scholar
  3. City of Philadelphia. (n.d.) The Presidents House: Freedom and slavery in the making of a New Nation Project Web. Retrieved February 9, 2017, from http://www.phila.gov/presidentshouse//index.html.
  4. Coard, M. (2016). Remains of 8,000 Blacks desecrated at Philly cemetery. (2016, May 23). The Philadelphia Tribune. Retrieved March 15, 2017, from http://www.phillytrib.com/commentary/remainsof-blacks-desecrated-at-philly-cemetery/article_32d30f1a-82f5-5b32-aec9-9530dc194e42.html?mode=jqm
  5. Coard, M. (2018, August 18). 187th anniversary of Nat Turner. The Philadelphia Tribune. Retrieved November 26, 2018, from http://www.phillytrib.com/commentary/coard-th-anniversary-of-nat-turner-s-rebellion/article_fc76f30f-6cfd-554e-b31a-5b5e82e4d3f9.html.
  6. Collins, J., Jeppson, P. L., & Levin, J. (2016). All of the above: Public Archaeology and Outreach at Independence National Historical Park/National Park Service Archaeology Outreach and Education at the Centennial. Paper presented at the Society for Historical and Underwater Archaeology Annual Conference, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  7. Countryman, M. J. (2006). Up south, civil rights and black power in Philadelphia. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.Google Scholar
  8. Hardesty, D., & Little B. (2000). Assessing site significance: A guide for archaeologists and historians. Heritage Resource Management Series. Walnut Creek: AltaMira Press.Google Scholar
  9. Independence Hall Association (IHA). (n.d.). President’s House Site “Controversy”. Retrieved February 9, 2017, from http://www.ushistory.org/presidentshouse/controversy/index.php.
  10. Jeppson, P. L. (2006a). Life, liberty, and the pursuit of….archaeology: How the history of our own field offers a glimpse into the American Experiment. Paper presented at the Society for Historical and Underwater Archaeology Annual Conference.Google Scholar
  11. Jeppson, P. L. (2006b). Which Benjamin Franklin—Yours or mine? Examining the responses to a new story from Franklin Court. Archaeologies, 2(2), 24–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Jeppson, P. L. (2007a, June). The Archaeology of Freedom and Slavery at the President’s House. African Diaspora Archaeology Network Newsletter. ISSN: 1933-8651, Retrieved March 15, 2017, from http://www.diaspora.uiuc.edu/news0607/news0607.html#5.
  13. Jeppson, P. L. (2007b). Civil religion and civically engaged archaeology: Researching Benjamin Franklin and the pragmatic spirit. In B. Little & P. Shackel (Eds.), Archaeology as a tool of civic engagement (pp. 173–202). Lanham: Alta Mira Press.Google Scholar
  14. Jeppson, P. L. (2007c). “Telling the Truth” about American History: Social justice and the archaeology of slavery and freedom at the President’s House Site. Paper presented at the American Anthropological Association Annual Conference.Google Scholar
  15. Jeppson, P. L. (2007d). Has Touristic Voyeurism been guiding the trowel at Independence Park? Paper presented at the Society for Historical and Underwater Archaeology Annual Conference.Google Scholar
  16. Jeppson, P. L. (2010, November). Archaeological heritage of “We the People”: Public Archaeology at Independence National Historical Park. In AnthropologyNews, Newsletter of the American Anthropological Association, pp. 5–6. Retrieved March 15, 2017, from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1556-3502.2010.51805.x/pdf.
  17. Jeppson, P. L. (2014a). Rediscovering Franklin. In R. Veit & D. Orr (Eds.), New Archaeology Discoveries of the Delaware Valley (pp. 227–248). Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press.Google Scholar
  18. Jeppson, P. L. (2014b). Archaeological significance, professional practice, and public praxis, part 2: Identity, community engagement, and the significance of archeological sites. Invited Paper presented at the Conference on Historical and Underwater Archaeology Annual Conference.Google Scholar
  19. Jeppson, P. L., & Lind Brauer, K. (2008). Can evaluation be more?: Principles of evaluation and the relationship between materiality and social existence at the President’s House Site. Paper presented at the Society for Historical and Underwater Archaeology Annual Conference.Google Scholar
  20. Jeppson, P. L., & Roberts, J. (2009). A platform above and beyond the archaeology: History and historicity at the President’s House Site. Paper presented at the Society for Historical and Underwater Archaeology Annual Conference.Google Scholar
  21. Jeppson, P., Levin, J., & Muschio, G. (2009a). AAA Archaeology Division Sponsored Workshop: Interpreting the Archaeology of ‘We The People’: A behind the scenes look at the Public Archaeology at Independence National Historical Park. In American Anthropological Association Annual Conference.Google Scholar
  22. Jeppson, P.L., Roberts, J., Lind Brauer, K., & Levin, J. (2009b). Public archaeology at the President’s House. In D. Mooney, I. Wuebber, C. LaRoche, J. Levin, P. L. Jeppson, J. Roberts, & K. Lind Brauer (Eds.), The Archeology of Freedom and Slavery, Excavations at the President’s House Site in Philadelphia. Report prepared for the National Park Service and the City of Philadelphia.Google Scholar
  23. Jeppson, P., Levin, J., & Muschio, G. (2011). “An Egyptian, a Japanese, and an Iranian computer scientist walk into an historical archaeology lab….(badaboom)”: Computational mathematics, convergence culture, and the creation of archaeological knowledge and understanding. Paper presented at the Society for Historical and Underwater Archaeology Annual Conference.Google Scholar
  24. Jeppson, P. L., Muschio, G., Winograd, H., Hass, M., Oxholm, G., & Nishino, K. (2012) Public archaeology via skyscraper. In Online Journal in Public Archaeology, 50–80. ISSN: 2171-6315. Retrieved from http://www.arqueologiapublica.es/current_issue.html.
  25. King, T. F. (2004). Cultural resource laws and practice. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield.Google Scholar
  26. Levin, J. (2008). Excavating the President’s House: Confronting slavery and freedom through Archaeology. Paper presented at the Society for Applied Anthropology, Memphis, Tennessee.Google Scholar
  27. Levin, J. (2009). Excavating the President’s House: Confronting freedom and slavery through archaeology. Paper presented at the Society for Historical Archaeology. Toronto, Ontario.Google Scholar
  28. Levin, J. (2010). The President’s House in Philadelphia: Activism leads to excavation. In Dynamics of Inclusion in Public Archaeology Wenner-Gren Foundation Workshop. African Burial Ground National Memorial.Google Scholar
  29. Levin, J. (2011a). Activism leads to excavation: The power of place and the power of the people at the President’s House in Philadelphia. Archaeologies, 7(3), 596–618.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Levin, J. (2011b). The President’s House in Philadelphia: From Archaeological Site to Commemorative Site. In Annual Meeting of the Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology, Morgantown, Pennsylvania.Google Scholar
  31. Levin, J. (2011c). From controversy to commemoration: Archeology and the Power of Place at the President’s House in Philadelphia. In “Why Does the Past Matter? Conference, University of Massachusetts Center for Heritage & Society, Amherst, Massachusetts.Google Scholar
  32. Levin, J. (2012a). Peopling the President’s House: A Presidential Household, an Enslaved Workforce, and an Engaged Public. Paper presented at the Center for Heritage Resource Studies, University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD.Google Scholar
  33. Levin, J. (2012b). The President’s House in Philadelphia: Freedom and slavery and the making of a new nation. Paper presented at “Archéologie de L’esclavage Colonial” (Archaeology of Colonial Slavery), Quai Branly Museum, co-sponsored with the French National Committee for the History and Memory of Slavery, the French Ministry of Culture and Communication, and the French National Institute for Preventive Archaeological Research, Paris, France.Google Scholar
  34. Levin, J. (2014a). The President’s House à Philadelphie. La liberté, l’esclavage et création d’une nouvelle nation. In A. Delpuech & J. Jean-Paul (Eds.), Archéologie de l’esclavage colonial (pp. 233–242). Paris: La Découverte.Google Scholar
  35. Levin, J. (2014b). Archaeological significance, professional practice, and public praxis, part 1: Archaeological identity and the determination of archaeological site significance. Paper presented at the Conference on Historical and Underwater Archaeology Annual Conference.Google Scholar
  36. Levin J., & Jeppson, P. L. (2012). Archaeology and the interpretation of the President’s House: Limits and Largesse. Paper at the Society for Historical and Underwater Archaeology Annual Conference, Baltimore, MD.Google Scholar
  37. Low, S. M., Taplin, D., Scheld, S., & Fisher, T. (2002). Recapturing erased histories: Ethnicity, design, and cultural representation, a case study of Independence National Historical Park. Journal of Architectural and Planning Research, 19(4), 282–299.Google Scholar
  38. Mathers, C., Darvill, T., & Little, B. J. (Eds.). (2004). Heritage of value, archaeology of renown: Reshaping archaeological assessment and significance, cultural heritage studies. Gainesville: University Press of Florida.Google Scholar
  39. Mooney, D., & Morrell, K. (2013). Phase IB archaeological investigations of the Mother Bethel Burying Ground, 1810—Circa 1864, ER No. 2013-1516-101-A, prepared for Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. Retrieved March 15, 2017, from http://www.phila.gov/ParksandRecreation/PDF/Bethel%20Burying%20Ground%20Report.pdf.
  40. Mooney, D., Wuebber, I., LaRoche, C., Levin, J., Jeppson, P. L., Roberts, J., Lind Brauer, K. (2009). The Archeology of Freedom and Slavery, Excavations at the President’s House Site in Philadelphia 2009. Report prepared for the National Park Service and City of Philadelphia.Google Scholar
  41. National Park Service (NPS). (1991a). How to complete the National Register Registration Form. National Register Bulletin 16A. Washington, DC: National Register of Historic Places, National Park Service.Google Scholar
  42. National Park Service (NPS). (1991b). How to apply the National Register Criteria for Evaluation. National Register Bulletin 15. Washington, DC: National Register of Historic Places, National Park Service.Google Scholar
  43. National Park Service, Independence National Historical Park (INHP). (2006). President’s House Site Archeology Briefing Paper. Retrieved February 9, 2017, from http://www.phila.gov/presidentshouse//pdfs/PHS%20Archeology%20Briefing%20Paper.pdf.
  44. Philadelphia Community of Leaders. (2014). About the Philadelphia Community of Leaders. Retrieved November 26, 2018, from http://www.philadelphiacommunityofleaders.org/about-pcol/.
  45. Pokotylo, D. L., & Mason, A. (1991). Public attitudes towards archaeological resources and their management. In J. E. Ehrenhard & G. S. Smith (Eds.), Protecting the past (p. 918). Boca Raton: CRC Press.Google Scholar
  46. Salisbury, S. (2013, December 6). Protests are vowed on park burial ground, a recently rediscovered historic site at a playground is at the center of a dispute. Philadelphia Inquirer, p. B08.Google Scholar
  47. Stevens, K., & Jeppson, P. L. (2011). Blogging on an Archaeological Records Collection: Archive Outreach and Creating a User-Friendly Access Plan, Independence Park Archaeological Records Collection. Paper presented at the Society for Historical and Underwater Archaeology Annual Conference, Austin, TX.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jed Levin
    • 1
  • Patrice L. Jeppson
    • 2
  1. 1.Independence National Historical ParkPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Cheyney University of PennsylvaniaCheyneyUSA

Personalised recommendations