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sunrise-on-cane-riverSunrise on the Cane River

This website chronicles the interwoven archaeological training and research projects conducted during the summer of 2006 at the St. Anne (16NA529) and Whittington (16NA241) plantation sites in Louisiana.*

In June the NCPTT hosted “Prospection in Depth,” a Summer Institute training program in GIS, GPS, and remote sensing aimed at archaeology professionals and students around the country. Four instructors and 10 participants used the St. Anne and Whittington sites as learning laboratories. This group of 14 collected GPS and remote sensing data, analyzed them through a GIS platform, and then worked in concert with a mature archaeological project to ground-truth their hypotheses within an existing research framework.

The research venture–the Cane River African Diaspora Archaeological Project–has been directed by David W. Morgan (NCPTT) and Kevin C. MacDonald (University College London) since it began in 2001. They have used the St. Anne and Whittington sites, along with other related plantations in the parish, to gain a valuable perspective on the process of creolization that occurred on the French colonial, Spanish colonial, and early American frontiers of the 1700s and 1800s.

This marks the third and most intensive season of excavations undertaken as part of the project. Consequently, Summer Institute ground-truthing occurs within a well-documented historical, archival, and archaeological set of contexts, making the training experience all the more robust. In concert with the investigations initiated by the Summer Institute participants, an international team of 11 researchers went on in the summer of 2006 to excavate by hand 89 square meters as units and some 6 square meters as 75 shovel tests.

The preliminary field results are presented here, so that Summer Institute participants and other interested people can learn from this unique fusion of technological training and traditional research.

You are encouraged to join us in this endeavor by ground-truthing the remote sensing data yourself:

  • select a site to explore
  • examine the remote sensing data
  • compare anomalies with excavation unit and/or shovel test locations
  • virtually excavate the unit or shovel test in question by studying the context (excavation) forms, plan view drawings, profile drawings, and photographs

*Funding for Summer 2006 excavations was generously provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the United Kingdom Arts and Humanities Research Council (UKAHRC) . Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed within this website do not necessarily reflect those of the NEH or UKAHRC. This website is sponsored solely by the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training.

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