WPA-Era Artifacts from Duck Hill, Andrews’ Place, Coden, Alabama http://www.museums.ua.edu/oar/NEH/MobileBay_GC/Andrews.htm

The Wreck of The Rachel, Ft. Morgan, Alabama


Late Woodland West Florida (Furr’s) Cord Marked ca. A.D. 700


Scott Bridge/Mobile River Archaeological Site Characterization

This project included an intensive Phase I Evaluation of an existing archaeological site utilizing a 10 meter grid in order to establish the exact parameters of the site.  This evaluation was conducted at the request of Scott Bridge Company, working under CSX railroad company in consultation with the United States Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile District.  We determined the boundaries of the site, and the extent to which the proposed development would be allowed to expand.  The company proposed to extend their current parking area into a known prehistoric shell midden.  In addition to evaluating the site for National Register eligibility, we created an avoidance plan for the site that allowed the company to expand their parking without impacting a valuable archaeological resource in southern Alabama.

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Bay Shell Road Near Fracatti Park, Mobile, AL

A Mote of Dust Suspended in a Sunbeam



From Abraham Lincoln, a Proclamation of Thanksgiving

From Abraham Lincoln, a Proclamation of Thanksgiving

October 3, 1863

By the President of the United States of America.

A Proclamation.

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequalled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgivingand Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the United States the Eighty-eighth.


By the President:

WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

The first photograph of lightning, by William Jennings, 1882

The first photograph of lightning, by William Jennings, 1882


The Perils of Archaeological Surveys

The Perils of Archaeological Surveys

Moon rise over Christ the Redeemer Statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Full moon rises over Christ the Redeemer Statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


This is believed to be the oldest photo taken in the USA; Central High School in Philadelphia, by Joseph Saxton, 1839


The Paleoenvironment of the Ice Free Corridor


The Wisconsinian Ice Age was an epoch when 2 massive Ice Sheets expanded over Canada.  The Cordilleran Ice Sheet expanded over the western Canadian Rocky Mountains south of Alaska, while the Laurentide Glacier covered all of eastern Canada and even extended over New England, Ohio, and other midwestern states.  (Ironically, most of Alaska stayed ice free during this time and consisted of a barren grassy environment known as the mammoth steppe.)  About 30,000 years ago, the Cordilleran Ice Sheet and the Laurentide Ice Sheet conjoined into 1 massive glacial slab that blocked all human and animal migratory routes between Alaska and the rest of America.  Formerly, scientists thought this barrier of ice existed from ~30,000 BP-~11,000 BP, but more recent studies suggest the 2 Ice Sheets began to separate as early as ~15,000 BP, creating an Ice Free Corridor that men and animals could have migrated through.

Map of North America…

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Object of the month – an archaeologists best friend

Archaeology National Trust SW

Having been on holiday and not quite back in the flow I decided that this object of the month could be an object from the present day.

It’s a trowel!  We are all told when we start digging to get a solid cast WHS 4 inch pointing trowel, no bigger and definitely not a round-nosed builders’ gauge trowel, or a garden trowel!

Other pointing trowels are often too thin and can slice bone when digging, or they are too bendy and if not solid cast they can snap when digging up stones or attacking a hard sun-baked layer.

Over the years they shrink as the metal is worn away, and eventually the old favourite trowel has to be replaced with a new one as it is just too small for most work. You can tell whether the archaeologist who used a particular trowel was right or left-handed or even ambidextrous, which most of us are, due…

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1940s Firetruck

1940s Firetruck

Roland Harper's Visit to Dauphin Island in July 1940



Dexter Avenue and the capitol 1906 (Montgomery, AL)



Sunset on Portersville Bay, Coden Alabama, November 9, 2013 © J.A. Gardner