Project Overview

Historical Archaeology of Hamilton: Economic and Social Life in Nineteenth Century Central New York

Faculty Sponsor

Kristin De Lucia (


Sociology and Anthropology


This project investigates economic and social life in the rural communities of nineteenth-century central New York. It integrates both archaeological and historical evidence to study what life was like in rural upstate New York.  Archaeological excavations were conducted in the fall 2023 at the site of a nineteenth century farmhouse. There was an outpouring of community interest and support in this project as well as a wealth of information provided by local residents. This project will attempt to systematically collect and document these stories and histories to create an oral history database, in addition to conducting historical research on the region to gain a more complete understanding of the past.
Students will be collecting oral histories through interviews and surveys of local residents. We will transcribe and study these interviews and surveys and document local history.  In addition, students will conduct archival research in local archives and transcribe household inventories. If there is time, students will work on curating and possibly studying archaeological collections from past excavations at the Damon Richmond house in Poolville in the Colgate Archaeology Laboratory.

Student Qualifications

Students should have research skills and should be self-motivated. Ideally students will have had ANTH 102, ANTH 103 OR a methods course in fields such as History or Sociology. Experience reading primary sources is a plus as well as the ability to utilize archives.

Number of Student Researchers

2 students

Project Length

8 weeks

Applications open on 10/03/2023 and close on 02/28/2024

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If you have questions, please contact Karyn Belanger (