Saturday, February 8, 2014

Fort St. Joseph Archaeologists Gather in Quebec

Photo by Joseph Gagné

Fort St. Joseph archaeologists gathered for the 47th annual Conference on Historical and Underwater Archaeology, sponsored by the Society for Historical Archaeology, from January 8-12 in Quebec City, Canada. Fourteen faculty, students, and alumni who have worked on the Fort St. Joseph Archaeological Project were in attendance, including Andrew Beaupré, Erin Claussen, Erica D'Elia, Catherine Davis, James Dunnigan, Anna Gerechka, Jayne Godfrey, Joseph Hearns, Terry Martin, Michael Nassaney, Emily Powell, LisaMarie Malischke, Andrew Robinson, Andrew Zink. The theme of this year’s conference was the questions that count in historical archaeology in the 21st century. Despite the numerous flight cancellations and sickness due to extreme winter weather, conference attendees were given a warm welcome in Quebec.
Conference attendees were offered a wide variety of presentations on the fur trade and the archaeology of New France. Andrew Beaupré organized a session highlighting the forts and families of New France that included paper presentations by Andrew Beaupré, LisaMarie Malischke, and a co-authored paper by Alex Brand, Erin Claussen, Ian Kerr, and Michael Nassaney. Dr. Nassaney presented a second paper in a session on critical reflections on the fur trade organized by Amelie Allard of the University of Minnesota. His paper examined significant questions concerning fur trade archaeology, extracted from his forthcoming book on the same topic. Terry Martin also presented a paper featuring Fort St. Joseph archaeology in a symposium dedicated to the historical archaeology of French Colonial America.
A handful of seed beads placed 2nd in black 
and white artifact photographs.
With the Fort St. Joseph Archaeological Project’s strong emphasis on public outreach, engagement, and collaborative learning, the conference was an excellent venue to share our work while engaging in lively discussions regarding contemporary archaeology and the role of archaeology in the modern world. Emily Powell noted: “Continued involvement in a professional organization such as the SHA is integral to students’ success in the field of archaeology. We learn the benefits of networking, the importance of sharing our work with others, and the need to maintain dialogue among peers. Communication is everything in our line of work.”
As in previous years, the Project entered the annual photo competition at the conference. Once again we came away with several awards, including two second-place and two first-place prizes in various categories. We are particularly proud of our first place award in the diversity category, which was new this year. Furthermore, one of the students captured in the photo, Stephen Staten, was the recipient of the first Diversity Scholarship Award given by the Fort St. Joseph Archaeological Project for a student to participate in the 2013 WMU archaeological field school.  Donations to the project support scholarships and other student expenses as investigations and interpretations of Fort St. Joseph continue.-Cara Mosier

Alexis Jacobs wet screening placed 1st in
color portrait photographs.
A Munsell book and soil core placed 2nd in
color field work photographs. 

Seth Allard leads students in offering Semaa (tobacco) to acknowledge the sacrifice of the plant and animal life that was disturbed through excavation. This image placed 1st in the diversity photo competition. 

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