Tales from the Dirt: Archaeology and Dover Point’s Diverse Early Colonial Landscape
Time & Location
About the Event
Historical records are important for understanding the earliest days of settler colonialism in New Hampshire, but they were written from a dominant, Euro-centric, often biased perspective. The materials people discard and leave behind offers an important line of evidence into what went on that didn’t make it into the history books. We present on our research on the early colonial landscape of Dover Point, exploring archaeology’s insights into a diversity of lives and experiences that were not captured fully in written documents, including Indigenous peoples, enslaved Africans, and indentured Scots.
Diane Fiske has served as Historian of First Parish Church in Dover, New Hampshire since 2010, preserving the early church and town records in the church archives, sharing the stories they tell with all who are interested, and providing genealogical information to those whose ancestors were early church members. She also serves as a volunteer transcriptionist of colonial church records for the Hidden Histories Project of the Congregational Library in Boston, MA. Her involvement with Archaeology began in 1993 as a volunteer with the New Hampshire SCRAP Program, and grew into her present position as Historical Researcher for the Great Bay Archaeological Survey (GBAS) Project with UNH in which she conducts extensive early colonial records research (deeds, probates, etc.) to help GBAS identify target 17th century sites for survey and excavation. Before she retired in 2010, she worked as a legal assistant for the McLane Law Firm in Manchester and Portsmouth, NH.
Dr. Meghan Howey is an anthropological archaeologist specializing in landscape archaeology and interdisciplinary approaches to deep-time coupled human natural systems. She is a Professor in the Anthropology Department and the Earth Systems Research Center at UNH. Meghan has conducted research in North America, Europe, and East Africa. Currently, Dr. Howey is directing the Great Bay Archaeological Survey (GBAS), a community-engaged and interdisciplinary archaeology program exploring the 17th and early 18th century landscapes of the Great Bay Estuary right here in New Hampshire. She is interested in how this early colonial period can help us better understand our place in the Anthropocene today. This work is supported by the James H. Hayes and Claire Short Hayes Professor of the Humanities and an Andrew Carnegie Fellowship.