The use of digital technologies for visualizing past environments is currently experiencing something of a renaissance among archaeologists. This is largely due to dropping costs of hardware and an increase in the intuitive usability of various 3D modeling software. The ability to deliver interactive content via the internet (Web 2.0) provides new ways of sharing research with a wider audience. These developments also provide exciting potentials for engaging students in the historical archaeology classroom. This post discusses how my teaching of historical archaeology benefits from these emerging technologies. Specifically, the use of a virtual world environment to explore historical architecture as described in James Deetz’s In Small Things Forgotten: An Archaeology of Early American Life.
The last week of August marked the inaugural fieldwork of a new collaborative project exploring Rosewood’s past. The Rosewood Heritage Project is the next phase of the work I began with my dissertation. A significant portion of my PhD research combined archaeology, documentary research, and oral history to construct a more accurate history of Rosewood’s development and subsequent destruction. You can visit the Rosewood Heritage Project’s website to learn more about this previous work. This post describes the ongoing documentation of Rosewood’s African American cemetery. Continue reading
I have made two major updates to the Virtual Rosewood Research Site (VRRP) in the past couple of months. The first update is the addition of oral history transcriptions to the VRRP Data Warehouse. The second major update involves the completion of the Virtual Rosewood online world.
Rosewood Oral Histories Online
The first update involves the addition of several oral history transcriptions from Rosewood survivors and descendants as well as witnesses to the 1923 riot which destroyed the town. The oral histories were collected by a group of historians as part of the compensation bill which made its way through the Florida state legislature in 1993 and 1994. Continue reading
How cold is it? Is it raining? Will it be sunny today? Questions like these have surely been asked by humans since the dawn of time. Weather certainly plays an important role in human society. As such, scholars are increasingly looking at the ways weather affected the past (see Durschmied’s The Weather Factor and Fagan’s The Little Ice Age for recent examples).
The 1923 riot which destroyed Rosewood was actually a week-long series of events beginning on Monday January 1st and concluding with the complete destruction of all black-owned buildings on Saturday January 6th. Many of the survivors were forced to spend at least one night hiding in the cold swamps while thier homes were destroyed. Decades later several of these survivors related how that winter was one of the coldest they could remember. Was it? Daily weather observations from nearby Cedar Key warehoused by the National Climatic Data Center provide the answer.