Digging New Jersey's Past

( 1 )

Overview

When people think of archaeology, they commonly think of unearthing the remains of ancient civilizations in Egypt, Greece, Rome, Central or South America. But some fascinating history can be found in your own New Jersey backyard -- if you know where to look.

Richard Veit takes readers on a well-organized guided tour through four hundred years of Garden State development as seen through archaeology in Digging New Jersey's Past. This illustrated guidebook takes readers to some of ...

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Overview

When people think of archaeology, they commonly think of unearthing the remains of ancient civilizations in Egypt, Greece, Rome, Central or South America. But some fascinating history can be found in your own New Jersey backyard -- if you know where to look.

Richard Veit takes readers on a well-organized guided tour through four hundred years of Garden State development as seen through archaeology in Digging New Jersey's Past. This illustrated guidebook takes readers to some of the state's most interesting discoveries and tells us what has been learned or is being learned from them. The diverse array of archaeological sites, drawn from all parts of the state, includes a seventeenth-century Dutch trading post, the site of the Battle of Monmouth, the gravemarkers of freed slaves, and a 1920s railroad roundhouse, among others.

Veit begins by explaining what archaeologists do: How do they know where to dig? What sites are likely to yield important information? How do archaeologists excavate a site? How are artifacts cataloged, stored, and interpreted? He then moves through the state's history, from the contact of first peoples and explorers, to colonial homesteads, Revolutionary War battlefields, cemeteries, railroads, and factories. Veit concludes with some thoughts about the future of archaeological research in New Jersey and with suggestions on ways that interested individuals can become involved in the field.

Richard Veit is an assistant professor in the Department of History and Anthropology at Monmouth University and the director of the university's Center for New Jersey History.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813531137
  • Publisher: Rutgers University Press
  • Publication date: 8/1/2002
  • Pages: 242
  • Sales rank: 368,903
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.51 (d)

Read an Excerpt

"Archaeology: the word brings to mind thoughts of adventure in exotic lands fraught with danger. Thanks in large part to Steven Spielberg's character, Indiana Jones, archaeologists are often perceived as dashing characters wearing fedoras or pith helmets and armed with whips. I, for one, have never had the opportunity to use a whip in a professional capacity. Adventure and intrigue are only the tip of the archeological iceberg." --from Digging New Jersey's Past
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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Foreword
Acknowledgments
Ch. 1 History Underfoot: A Short Introduction to Historical Archaeology 1
Ch. 2 "A Good Land to Behold": In Search of New Jersey's First Settlers 21
Ch. 3 "An Obscure Corner of the World": A Diverse Colony and Its People 39
Ch. 4 "Cockpit of the Revolution": Unearthing the War of Independence 63
Ch. 5 Here Lies New Jersey: Historic Burial Grounds, Cemeteries, and Gravemarkers 90
Ch. 6 Inclined Planes, Trains, and Automobiles: Transportation in the Garden State 115
Ch. 7 From Potteries to Pipelines: What New Jersey Makes, the World Takes 140
Ch. 8 "Endless Novelty": The Transformation of Nineteenth-Century Life 167
Ch. 9 "What to Others Is Meaningless Rubbish": Some Concluding Thoughts 185
Bibliography 195
Index 211
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 12, 2010

    Dig it!

    Engaging read about well-known and not-so-well-known places in New Jersey - how and why they are explored by professionals and amateurs alike. Professor Veit introduces some archeological terms and techniques, then takes the reader to various places in NJ - an island, a potential murder site, a train yard, factories, and so many others - in quest of a fuller picture of New Jersey's past and its people. Have already lent it to a metal detector enthusiast after explaining how amateur detectors helped unravel the specifics of the Battle of Monmouth. Down to earth (no pun intended), easily-understandable, interesting look into New Jersey's rich history. For teens and up.

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