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Anthropology
Project Proposal

Historical Research in Support of Archaeological Excavations at the Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt

April M. Beisaw (Anthropology)

Project Description

Vassar’s anthropology program is now providing archaeological services to the National Park Service properties in nearby Hyde Park. During the summer of 2017, a team of archaeology students will be excavating a bottle dump at the Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt. We will be recovering large amounts of artifacts from this excavation and those artifacts need to be identified as part of determining when the bottle dump was created, which property residents are associated with it, what activities generated the refuse, and when it was discontinued as a waste pile. The results of our project will help the Park Service to manage and interpret this part of their property.

Anticipated Project Activities

The Ford student will be responsible for conducting historical research to identify and interpret artifacts recovered from site excavations, assess the history of land use from building and deed records, and generate verifiable conclusions as to the nature of the archaeological deposits. This will involve reading existing National Park Service reports and original research in archives and libraries and on-line. The Ford student will assist with field and labwork as needed but 80% of their time will be devoted to compiling histories and writing reports.

Preferred Student Qualifications and Skills

The successful applicant will have excellent organizational skills and demonstrated interest in American history. Two detailed example of each must be included in the application. A background in archaeology is not required.

Anticipated Follow-up Teaching/Professional Activity for Student

During the Spring 2018 semester, the Ford student will teach a one-hour worksop on researching historical artifacts in Laboratory Methods in Archaeology (ANTH 231)

Project Location

Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY and Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site, Hyde Park, NY

Project Duration

Eight weeks

Project Start Date

May 31, 2017

Project End Date

July 26, 2017