urban-archaeology

This was the library in Worcester State Hospital’s administrative building, colloquially known as the Clocktower.  Most of the light in this photograph - which was a four-minute-long exposure - came from a crack in the board over the window at left.  Sadly, the Clocktower was razed in 2012.  For more on this historic asylum, check out my blog.

Print available here.

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With urban, Western settler and Native American archaeological sites just a short distance from campus, students in the UM Anthropology Program have a lot of opportunities to get their hands dirty. The undergraduate major includes options in archaeology, cultural & ethnic diversity, and forensic, linguistic and medical anthropology. Students also can pursue a minor in linguistics and certificates in English as second language, historical preservation and forensic studies.

Graduate programs include general anthropology, forensic anthropology, cultural heritage, applied anthropology, applied medical anthropology and linguistic anthropology.

Learn more on the UM Anthropology Program website.

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Eerie new images show forgotten French apartment that was abandoned at the outbreak of World War II and left untouched for 70 years.

View inside the Paris apartment.

Eerie new images have emerged of a French apartment abandoned at the outbreak of World War II and left untouched in the seven decades since

Other than a thick layer of dust covering the furniture, the room looks exactly as it would have done 70 years ago when its occupants fled Paris for the south of France as the Second World War erupted in Europe.

With Germany devising the Fall Gelb – a military sub-campaign later known as the Manstein Plan, with an objective conquering Northern France – the owner of the chic apartment decided that leaving the capital was the only way she could guarantee her safety.

The flat’s titleholder, a woman known only as Mrs De Florian, never returned to the apartment and never rented it out. Its existence only came to light in 2010, when Mrs De Florian died without issue at the age of 91 and experts were brought in to value the property.

The flat, which is close to the Pigalle red-light district in Paris’ 9th Arrondissement, was said to be like a “stumbling in to the castle of Sleeping Beauty” by one expert, as a room full of artworks and beautiful furniture was discovered behind its long-locked font door.

One specialist, Oliver Choppin-Janvry, said he was particularly impressed by a tableau of a woman in a pink muslin evening dress, which turned out to be a work by the 19th Century Italian artist Giovanni Boldini.

Source:       The Independent,   and   The Paris apartment.

A little urban archaeology for a Friday evening. (Sorry to facebook friends who get to see this twice, but it’s the most exciting thing that’s happened to me in the last half hour.)  I happened to look up in our basement earlier.  "What’s that?“, I thought to myself. Nailed up between the joists next to an old knob-and-tube insulator, was a thing.  It was curvaceous.  I had to investigate.

Tacked firmly in place with three small finishing nails, at first I thought it was stained but upon inspection it is actually heavily oxidized cherry. At 3/16”, it’s so thin that it can’t possibly be architectural. I thought maybe it was a template for plaster work molding or Victorian gingerbread for the rafter ends of a porch or something.

But no…  the curves  just don’t resolve in a satisfying way for those applications. It *might* work as a cubby divider in an old desk but I’m not convinced.

I have no idea why this thing was so carefully preserved and it’s got me scratching my head. I kind of want to make something with it.

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Check out this brilliant video on urban archaeology of homelessness in Bristol! I’m especially digging the impromptu rap in the beginning.