Kentucky Heritage Council
September is Kentucky Archaeology Month; public events will highlight research, site preservation, American Indian and pioneer technologies
FRANKFORT, Ky. – Several public archaeology programs are planned in September, which Gov. Steve Beshear has proclaimed Kentucky Archaeology Month to recognize the professional practice of archaeology and how this work has helped unearth a more complete understanding of the history of the Commonwealth.
A highlight will be the 27th Annual Living Archaeology Weekend (LAW), Kentucky’s oldest and largest public archaeology event, which will take place Friday and Saturday, Sept. 18-19, at Gladie Visitor Center in Red River Gorge. Much of the region is an archaeological district listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Hundreds of preregistered fifth graders will take part in demonstrations Friday, and the public is invited from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Admission is free. Demonstrations will include how to tan animal hides, weave baskets, make pottery, mill corn, make spears and weapon points, and throw spears with an atlatl.
LAW activities engage visitors in interactive demonstrations of authentic American Indian and pioneer technologies and lifeways, archaeological methods, and cultural resource preservation. The event is presented by the U.S. Forest Service/Daniel Boone National Forest, the Kentucky Organization of Professional Archaeologists (KyOPA), and the Kentucky Archaeological Survey, a partnership of the Kentucky Heritage Council/State Historic Preservation Office and University of Kentucky Department of Anthropology.
Other events include free activities at the Jack Jouett House Historic Site Visitor Center, 255 Craig’s Creek Road, Versailles. A lab to process artifacts recovered from excavation of an early distillery located on-site will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 5. Participants will work with the Jack Jouett Archaeology Project Team and also learn about volunteer opportunities including excavation, database entry, event hosting and support, research, document transcription, exhibit creation and outreach.
At 2 p.m. Sept. 12, Kentucky Heritage Council African American and Native American Heritage Coordinator Tressa Brown will describe Native American life during Kentucky's pioneer period. “The First Kentuckians: Native American Life in the Frontier Era” will focus on the world encountered by early Kentucky settlers like Captain John “Jack” Jouett, a hero of the Revolutionary War who went on to play an important role in the Kentucky statehood convention and serve in the legislature.
At 2 p.m. Oct. 17, which is also observed as International Archaeology Day, Kentucky Heritage Council archaeologist and Jouett House project team leader Nick Laracuente will review findings from the 2015 season. Volunteer work has been sponsored by Woodford County Fiscal Court and the Woodford County Heritage Commission, with additional support from the Kentucky Distillers’ Association.
Visit the KyOPA website for the complete list of Kentucky Archaeology Month activities. Other events include:
Sept. 12, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. – “Digging the Past,” Falls of the Ohio State Park, Clarksville, Indiana.
Sept. 16, 23 and 30, 6-8 p.m. – Wash Night, UK Archaeology Lab. Contact Dr. Gwynn Henderson for information.
Sept. 19, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. (CDT) – “Adventures in Archaeology Day,” Wickliffe Mounds State Historic Site. Tour the mounds, museum exhibits and archaeology trail, with education stations demonstrating archaeological practices including surface surveying, simulated mock excavation, sifting dirt, washing artifacts and a hands-on laboratory.
Sept. 19-20 – Gaslight Festival, excavations at the Conrad Pottery Site, 10320 Watterson Trail, Jeffersontown.
Sept. 26, 10a.m.-3 p.m. – Gardner House and Brick Kiln Archaeology Open House, Western Kentucky University Green River Preserve in Hart County. Contact Darlene Applegate for information.
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An agency of the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, the Kentucky Heritage Council/State Historic Preservation Office is responsible for the identification, protection and preservation of prehistoric resources and historic buildings, sites and cultural resources throughout the Commonwealth, in partnership with other state and federal agencies, local communities and interested citizens. This mission is integral to making communities more livable and has a far-ranging impact on issues as diverse as economic development, heritage tourism, jobs creation, affordable housing, community revitalization, environmental conservation and quality of life. www.heritage.ky.gov