New Castle Archaeology

 

Since the early 1990s, Dr. Lu Ann De Cunzo and the Department of Anthropology have collaborated with historical organizations to undertake public archaeology in Delaware’s first capital, New Castle. Designed as a long-term interdisciplinary program in historical archaeological research, interpretation, and public education, we aimed to:

  • Understand the histories and cultures of New Castle and their significance
  • Center on the interactions of people, their cultures, and the material world they create and in which they live
  • Train University of Delaware and local high school students in the concepts and techniques of historical archaeological research and interpretation
  • Engage with the community in a collaborative learning project

We have conducted investigations at the Delaware Historical Society Read House and Gardens, New Castle Historical Society Dutch and Amstel Houses, Presbyterian Church, and two privately owned properties on the Delaware riverfront Strand. Hundreds of UD students have contributed to these service learning projects. this research and partnerships. This collection contains the reports of these investigations. The collection will grow as reports are completed.

Delaware Historical Society Read House and Gardens

In 1992, the University of Delaware’s Department of Anthropology, together with the Delaware Historical Society, began Unearthing New Castle’s Past. Directed by Dr. Lu Ann De Cunzo, the program grew beyond traditional archaeological research to encompass a wider community and a broader perspective on the significance of this site and of New Castle’s history.

Unearthing New Castle’s Past Series

This report series is organized by archaeological field project:

  • Volume 1: 1994-1999 Read House Garden (2021)
  • Volume 2: 2009 Read House Back Terrace (2021)
  • Volume 3: 2011 Waterfront Lot along the Delaware River (2021)
  • Volumes 4 and 5: 2011-2012 Lot across an alley north of the Read House
  • Management Summary and Volume 6: 2017 Alley and north lot (2017)

The purposes of these technical reports are to 1) document our project goals, the methods we used to achieve them, the places we excavated and what we found, 2) present our analyses of our findings with other historical evidence, 3) interpret the story of what happened in the study area, why it matters, and how the DHS can preserve the archaeological record for the future. The archaeological evidence is detailed so that others may consult it for their research.

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