Brief Overview Sept 11 Meeting Presentation “Digging Deep at Oaklands Mansion: The 19th Century Backyard Cellar by Laura Bartel
- In 2019, James Manning, Executive Director of Oaklands Mansion contacted me and asked if I and members of RCAS would excavate the backyard cellar. There is no oral history and no known records regarding the circa 1820 cellar. It is believed to be built by the Maney enslaved. The cellar was accidentally discovered, partially excavated, and backfilled in 1976.
- Our project involved excavating the entire cellar to recover artifacts and data to understand its construction, architecture, and condition. I will be presenting information regarding the numerous artifacts and faunal material found, information about the cellar and its features, and the future of the cellar. I will also discuss some of the findings from the 1976 excavation.
- This was an all-volunteer project co-directed by archaeologists Laura Bartel and Zada Law. Other team members included Assistant Director, Olivia Thompson, Clelie Cottle Peacock, Joey O’Dell, and Christopher Lane.
- Note: RCAS is an all-volunteer, 501(c)(3) nonprofit archaeological educational and service association supported entirely by memberships and donations.
Sunday, May 15, 2022
RCAS In May: Displays and Artifacts at Oaklands Mansion, Sunday, May 15
The Rutherford County Archaeological Society(RCAS) will be sharing the past with the public as a participant at Oaklands Mansion’s “Free Day” on Sunday, May 15, 2022 from 10am until 4pm. Admission to tour Oaklands Mansion is free on this day! We will be on site sharing archaeological displays and artifacts and information about some of our local projects. Please come by and see how the past is present in Rutherford County!
Here is detailed information from the OaklandsMansion.org website about both day and evening activities and participants:
It doesn’t matter if you are new to Murfreesboro, a long-time resident or you are just passing through, you are invited to visit Oaklands Mansion and grounds for free on Sunday, May 15, 2022. Oaklands Mansion will be open from 10:00AM – 4:00PM for self-guided tours. Signage inside the house explains the evolution of the historic site. Originally constructed as a frontier homestead, the structure evolved into a plantation house that was ultimately adapted to serve as a house museum. Staff and volunteers will be here to meet you and answer questions.
Members of the African American Heritage Society of Rutherford County, the Center for Chinese Music and Culture, Murfreesboro Little Theatre, the Murfreesboro Muslim Youth and the Rutherford County Archeological Society will also be on site to welcome you to Free Day.
Gardeners from Murfreesboro Parks and Recreation will be at the community vegetable garden from 10:00AM – 2:00PM. Oaklands Park is a native tree arboretum that includes walking trails, gardens and wetlands. View or download the map here. Oaklands Park is open daily from dawn until dusk. Oaklands Mansion is owned and operated by Oaklands Association, Inc. a 501 (c) 3 non-profit educational organization.
Volunteers from the Rutherford County Archaeological Society will be here sharing information about some of its projects in the community along with displays and artifacts. Murfreesboro Little Theatre (MLT) will offer free live performances at the base of the History Oak. Come back later that same evening to enjoy free live performances by both MLT and the Middle Tennessee Sinfonietta from 6:00PM – 9:00PM.
More details are here.
There is no charge to attend Free Day. The museum store will be open for gift shopping. My Roots Curbside Culinary food truck will be on site, so come hungry! Both the shop and the food truck accept cash and cards. This event will take place rain or shine. Please bring your own chairs and blankets. Dogs are permitted, but must remain on a leash at all times. For more information visit www.oaklandsmansion.org. You can find Oaklands Mansion on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
APRIL MEETING IS ONLINE ON THURSDAY, APRIL 21, 2022, 6:00pm CDT
RCAS APRIL MEETING: Online Presentation by Kevin E. Smith
In lieu of an in-person meeting this month, we are happy to announce a live online presentation sponsored by the Tennessee Division of Archaeology. The TDOA has created a new virtual lecture series for 2022(Third Thursdays, April-October).
The inaugural presentation is on Thursday, April 21 at 6:00pm CDT.
Archaeologist Dr. Kevin E. Smith(MTSU) will present “Exploring Native American Foodways in Ancient Tennessee: More Than Just Corn, Beans, Squash.“
The presentation is free utilizing Zoom and you may sign up at https://bit.ly/CRITA-April21
After signing up, you will be contacted by the TDOA with links on how to access the presentation. Please direct any questions to State Archaeologist Phil Hodge at Phil.Hodge@tn.gov
Abstract of Presentation, by Dr. Kevin E. Smith
Explorers of Tennessee’s Cumberland River valley in the 1700s reported forests of American bamboo miles in diameter and so dense only children could squeeze through them. Archaeologists have usually assumed that this now critically endangered ecosystem developed in the 1600s after indigenous people abandoned the area. For ancient Nashville between about AD 1200 and 1500, I will examine some exciting new research about the antiquity of these Cumberland Valley bamboo forests – and how they intersect with the history, culture, traditions – and food – of indigenous people. Along the way, I will also explore the relationship of beaver ponds and maize fields, tame deer herds, and a continent-wide trade network of useful plants beyond maize, beans, and squash.
RCAS note: We hope you join us for this special presentation of some of the early Native American lifeways in Tennessee and the environment in which the people lived and interacted.
March Meeting featuring Macie Orrand, Collections Manager for the Tennessee Division of Archaeology
The Rutherford County Archaeological Society is excited to host a special presentation for our upcoming meeting, Saturday, March 26 at 1:00 pm at the Oaklands Mansion event room. Doors open at 12:30. Our meetings are free and open to the public, and we hope you are able to join us.
Our special guest speaker is Macie Orrand, M.A., Collections Manager for the Tennessee Division of Archaeology, who will be presenting “Guardians of Antiquity: The Care and Management of Archaeological Collections. Macie is an MTSU alumna with a B. S. in Anthropology and an M.A. in Anthropology from Georgia State University along with Museum Anthropology certification.
In her own words: My presentation will highlight the importance of collections care and the responsibility and roles of collection managers and archaeologists to ensure that archaeological collections are available for generations to come. Curation is often an afterthought but is arguably the most valuable process within the field! I will discuss collections care and all that goes in to it, including logistics and planning of everyday tasks like policy writing, processing and procedures, repository maintenance, and emergency management planning. I will also discuss my development of the TN Collections Management Community of Practice (COP) group and how I hope to expand communication among collection managers across the state. Finally, I will provide insight into the knowledge I’ve gained over the past months working with other curators from institutions and agencies all over the southeast and what I envision for the future of archaeological collections care work.
February Meeting! Saturday, Feb. 19, 1:00PM Oaklands Mansion
Doors open at 12:30PM