Exploring the Northwest's Colonial Fort Vancouver:
The Public Archaeology Field School at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site
Tuesday - Saturday, June 18 - August 3, 2013
Portland State University, Washington State University Vancouver, and the National Park Service are pleased to announce a field school in historical archaeology at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site. The program will introduce the method and theory of fieldwork in historical archaeology. Students will participate in all aspects of field and laboratory work: laying out units, excavation by shovel and trowel, mapping, drawing, photography, and cleaning, identifying, and analyzing artifacts. This year's project will develop, test, and evaluate the use of digital recording using tablet computers to assist in recording of endangered gravestones and dig sites. The season includes lectures by guest speakers and staff.
The National Park Service and its partners are committed to sharing cultural resources and preservation values with the public. On a rotating basis, students will discuss the field school activities with visitors, including interpreting the significance of the site and the educational purposes of the project.
Fort Vancouver National Historic Site is an unparalleled archaeological laboratory, comprising the remains of Fort Vancouver, the ca. 1825-1860 regional headquarters and supply depot for the Hudson's Bay Company, and Vancouver Barracks, the first (ca. 1849-2010) permanent U.S. Army post in the Pacific Northwest.
The 2013 Public Archaeology Field School will continue a multi-year exploration of the multicultural Village ("Kanaka Village"), the largest settlement in the Pacific Northwest, ca. 1829-1845. Residents included Native Hawaiians, the Métis, and people of many different American Indian tribes. Later, the village was the site of the Quartermaster's Depot, part of the World War I Spruce Mill, which cut aviation-grade spruce for America's war effort, and a barracks and training compound for the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC).
The 2013 field school will explore these sites and continue to collect data on the Old City Cemetery (45CL887), one of the oldest cemeteries in the City of Vancouver, Washington. The cemetery has suffered from repeated vandalism and this project is collecting baseline information on headstone condition, and their styles, decorations, and inscriptions to help in its future preservation. The field school will provide a unique research context to deploy mobile information technology in a variety of field situations while providing a means to expand use of mobile devices in heritage preservation.