October 23rd, 2020 Fall Membership Meeting

This fall we are once again going virtual for the membership meeting. OAC members will receive an email with a WebEx link. You do NOT need a WebEx account to join the meeting; however, if you would like to create an account, you can do so here: https://cart.webex.com/sign-up-webex.

Nettiquette: As part of the virtual meeting, we have a few “rules” or net-ettiquette that we would like you to follow. When you join the meeting, please keep your camera off, and your microphone muted. This will keep our bandwidth consumption low and improve the quality of the video and audio of those presenting and speaking. You have the option to “raise” your hand to signal you would like to speak (such as asking a question). We would prefer if you are not a presenter or panelist that you try raising your hand first using this function. It will make it easier for moderators of the meeting to identify who is speaking. For information on hand-raising, you can read more here: https://answers.uillinois.edu/uic/page.php?id=99309.

If you are not a member of the OAC, you can still participate! No worries! This is a public meeting, so we will have several options to watch and comment. You can join us on our YouTube channel, which will have a live stream of the meeting: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCihQNObsGAzCtTT__euQ1kA/featured. You can also join us on our Facebook page, where we will also be live: https://www.facebook.com/OhioArchaeology/. And, lastly you can join us on Twitch, which is hosted through the Cuyahoga Community College Anthropology channel: https://www.twitch.tv/tricanthropology.


Time Slot Presenter Topic
10:00 Megan Shaeffer Field Schools in the Time of COVID
10:20 Andy Sewell Digging the Company Line:  Archaeology of a Black Neighborhood in Mansfield, Ohio
10:40 JeMiah Cannon Fossilized Terminal Status at Dinsmore Plantation
11:00 Panel Discussion Diversity in Archaeology
12:00   Lunch
12:30 OAC Board OAXC Business Meeting
1:30 Shaune Skinner Early contributions of Women to Ohio Archaeology
2:15 Megan Shaeffer An Integrated Neighborhood on the Fringes
2:45   Adjourn


Abstracts of the Presentations


Field Schools in the Time of COVID

 Megan Shaeffer

Because of the COVID pandemic most field schools are, understandably, being cancelled. Summit Metro Parks and the University of Akron, however, worked together to develop a field school with health protocols that would ensure student safety and still allow them to get their valuable field experience.  This presentation outlines the guidelines and strategies used for this field school, which resulted in the exploration of a Middle to Late Woodland site within Sand Run Metro Park.


Digging the Company Line: Archaeology of a Black Neighborhood in Mansfield, Ohio

Andy Sewell

The former Company Line neighborhood in Mansfield, Ohio, was a Black working class community that formed from southern migrants seeking good industrial jobs in the North in the early 20th century. Many of the residents of this neighborhood found employment in the nearby steel mill. Racial policies and pressures in Mansfield influenced where these small enclaves of Black people could be established, and the policy of urban development destroyed this neighborhood in the early 1970s. An archaeological survey in 2017 provided a unique opportunity to study a set of archaeological sites associated with residences along Wise Avenue occupied between ca. 1947 and 1972. This presentation briefly examines how the sites fit into a larger narrative of recent racial history in Mansfield in the late twentieth century, focusing on the sites as an example of an organically developing African-American neighborhood that was nevertheless strongly effected by municipal policies such as redlining and ultimately urban renewal; and how archaeology presents a new perspective on such topics.


Fossilized Terminal Status at the Dinsmore Plantation

 JeMiah Cannon

Slavery is an area of American history that can be difficult to discuss and acknowledge. The field of archaeology has tried to dissect the various aspects of this very complex system within our Nation’s past. In doing so, there has been an evolution of plantation archaeology and the types of questions, which are asked about enslavement.  Moving away from racially biased interpretations of material culture, plantation archaeology can help repair some of the damage that has been done to those people who were enslaved in this country and their descendants who continue to suffer physically, psychologically, socially, politically, and economically as a consequence of slavery.

In this paper, the concept of “fossilized terminal status” is used to examine mortuary behavior and the material culture of a burial population at the Dinsmore Plantation in Boone County, Kentucky. Geophysical data are used to compare and contrast the physical evidence associated with the socioeconomic status of slave owners and those people who were enslaved. Data collected from the Dinsmore Plantation Cemetery are used to show the difference between how those enslaved on the plantation were buried compared to the plantation owners. These data are also used to understand the social and economic dichotomy of the Dinsmore family in comparison to those who they enslaved. Lastly, I will show the importance of acknowledging racial biases that produce biased interpretations in plantation archaeology, whether intentional or solely due to a lack of understanding, and why these biases can be problematic to the current identity of African Americans today.


Panel Discussion: Diversity in Archaeology

For the fall 2020 Ohio Archaeological Council meeting, president-elect Eric Olson will be moderating a panel discussion on diversity in archaeology. Diversity is a broad topic, which includes diversity of backgrounds, ideas, and perspectives that can help archaeology innovate and be more relevant to a wider audience.

Panelists include:

Alexandra Jones, Executive Director of Archaeology in the Community, Inc.

Tommy Ng, Senior Project Archaeologist at Bison Historical Services, Ltd.

Sydney Pickens, Archaeology Educator at Archaeology in the Community, Inc.

Jay Toth, Retired Tribal Archaeologist for Seneca Nation of Indians

Jeff White, Director of Archaeology, Can You Dig it?


Early Contributions of Women to Ohio Archaeology

Shaune Skinner

In this distinctive year of 2020 when we celebrate the centennial of women’s suffrage, an ad hoc group of Ohio Archaeological Council female members is working to commemorate the achievements of the first women in Ohio archaeology.  This virtual panel presentation highlights the careers of selected early Ohio women archaeologists.  Discussion topics include who mentored them, what hurdles they faced, how the field has changed, and features an oral history interview with Martha Otto - one of the first significant women in this field.  The goal of this unique panel discussion is to present an understanding of the formative years of Ohio archaeology from a female point of view.


An Integrated Neighborhood on the Fringes

Megan Shaeffer

In 2017 and 2018 archaeological work was carried out in Summit Metro Parks in Wheelock Acres, a small neighborhood just between the cities of Akron and Cuyahoga Falls in Summit County.  This neighborhood existed between the late 1940s and the late 1960s and was home to African American and white residents, many of whom worked in the booming rubber industries in the area.  This excavation was an opportunity to explore a piece of the cultural history of NE Ohio related to race, socioeconomic status, and migration.


Latest News

by Eric Olson on October 12, 2021
by Kevin Schwarz on May 10, 2021