Public Outreach Programs
Because most research cultural resource management projects are funded with public money, it is important to let the public share in the wonderful discoveries resulting from these efforts. The ever-present dilemma is how to balance public education with protection of archaeological sites from looting. Along with the time-honored public slide-show talks and tours, we have been using other ways to share the stories we uncover.
PAST personnel have created numerous permanent museum exhibits. Among them are one on a series of prehistoric sites in Newtown, a legislative history exhibit at the State Capital, an exhibit on the archaeological documentation of early torpedo boats in New London, and an installation on the history of mental health treatment. We wrote the texts, assembled artifactual material, laid out the designs, and oversaw the construction and installation of the exhibits. Exhibits on several of our recent data recovery projects are planned. Exhibits are an important mechanism for bringing the discoveries of cultural resource management projects to the people who funded them: the public. With their artifacts and visual effects, the exhibits have a way of reaching people that cannot be achieved through other media. And this is where we get to show a different side as archaeologists and historians, where we eschew technical jargon and let our simple enthusiasm and respect for the subjects show.
Web Site Exhibits
As everyone knows, the development of this new media venue has changed the world, and certainly it has changed cultural resource management. Web sites provide the capacity to give a visitor information, in layers, that match his or her level of interest. PAST has constructed numerous Web sites for clients, including several on Connecticut's highway bridges and one on an African-American-occupied tenant farmhouse. Visit some of our Web sites: Clark Tenant Farm House, Connecticut's Historic Highway Bridges, Connecticut's Open Spandrel Concrete Arch Bridges, Packerville Bridge, River Street Bridge and Mill Tunnel, and The Berlin Iron Bridge Company.
PAST personnel have authored, coauthored or contributed to numerous books aimed at the public and are presently in the process of writing five: a history of Hartford Hospital, a volume on the National Register-listed sites in Connecticut, a small book on the Clark Farm Tenant House Site, one on a collection of prehistoric sites in Canterbury, Connecticut, and one on Connecticut's movable bridges. At least four others are also planned.
Public Education Events, Lectures, and Services
PAST employees regularly volunteer their time and knowledge to local organizations and events in order to further understanding of the past and raise awareness about the importance of cultural resource management. We have presented participatory events and lectures on a variety of topics and for many different organizations. PAST's presentations include historical information gathered through our fieldwork and conventional historical research, but also through "experimental" archaeology and history. PAST staffers actively practice the crafts of prehistoric and historic peoples in a serious effort to understand past lifeways: we make and use stone tools, clay pottery, utensils of bark, wood, bone and antler, and hunt and cook in Native American and colonial Euro-American styles. If you would like more information about having an archaeologist or historian speak in your community, please contact PAST, Inc.
The following are examples of lectures, events, and services PAST has provided for local organizations:
Prehistory and Native Peoples in Southern New England
PAST, Inc. Open House, 1999 and 2001. As part of Connecticut Archaeology Awareness Week PAST, Inc. held an open house at our offices in Mansfield, CT. Individuals and groups were welcomed for a day of learning and experiencing the world of cultural resource management. Stations were set up on PAST's two-acre property to showcase how we integrate experimental archaeology into our site work and research. One station was set up for a stone toolmaking demonstration, one for a workshop on prehistoric crafts, one on prehistoric pottery-making and firing, one for a demonstration of atlatl- and dart-throwing, and one for colonial period crafts. Tours were given of our offices and laboratory, and stations were set up inside for visitors to learn how we use some of our lab equipment.
Atlatl and Darts: An Ancient Technologies Workshop. Dan Forrest presented a workshop for children and adults on behalf of the Connecticut State Museum of Natural History in October 2002. Participants made the tools and then were able to try throwing the atlatl and darts.
Birchbark: An Ancient Technologies Workshop. Eric Pomo presented a workshop for children and adults on behalf of the Connecticut State Museum of Natural History in October 2002. A second workshop for the Museum of Natural History was given by Eric in late November 2002 on the Ancient Technologies of Bone and Antler. On January 25, 2003 Eric presented a workshop on Fire by Friction, and on February 8th he presented a workshop on Stone Grinding.
Pottery: An Ancient Technologies Workshop. Karen Morando presented a workshop on the making of Native American ceramics for children and adults on behalf of the Connecticut State Museum of Natural History in early December 2002.
Flint Knapping: An Ancient Technologies Workshop. Erik Smith presented a workshop on the ancient technology of stone toolmaking, or flint knapping, for children and adults on behalf of the Connecticut State Museum of Natural History on March 15, 2003.
House and Home in Early Holocene Southern New England. Daniel Forrest presented a talk at the May 2003 Conference on New England Archaeology in Sturbridge, Massachusetts.
Ancient Technologies Workshops PAST is partnering with the Connecticut State Museum of Natural History to present a series of four, 4-hour long workshops. The first two were presented on September 27 and October 18, 2003 by Karen Morando on the subject of pottery making and firing in late prehistoric times. The third will be presented by Dan Forrest and Eric Pomo on traditional tools of food preparation, and the fourth will be presented by Dan Forrest on traditional foodways and food preparation. The two remaining workshops will take place on Saturday November 13 and Saturday December 15 from 12 noon - 4 pm. Please call the CSMNH at 860-486-4460 or contact us here at PAST for additional information.
The Colonial Period in Connecticut
Excavation of a c. 1700 Connecticut Homestead. Mary Harper and Bruce Clouette gave a lecture and slide show presentation for the Greater Hartford Association of Historic Houses and Museums in Hartford, CT, in March 2000.
Tours of Historic Homes in Andover, CT. Bruce Clouette led tours of various historic homes in Andover, CT, on behalf of the Andover Historical Society in June 2001 and March 2002.
The Sprague House, Andover, CT. Mary Harper, Ross Harper, and Bruce Clouette attended and spoke at a forum during the winter 2002 meeting of the New England Chapter of the Vernacular Architecture Forum at Old Sturbridge Village in Sturbridge, MA.
Three 18th-Century Rural Connecticut Homesteads. Mary and Ross Harper gave a lecture and slide show presentation for the annual meeting of the Mansfield Historical Society, Mansfield, CT, in September 2002.
Thomas Daniels Homestead Excavation. Mary and Ross Harper gave a lecture and slide show presentation on behalf of the Waterford Historic Properties Commission, Waterford, CT, in October 2002.
The Ephraim Sprague House. Bruce Clouette and Mary Harper gave a presentation to the Lebanon Historical Society on February 9, 2003.
Ephraim Sprague House. Bruce Clouette and Mary Harper gave a presentation to the Columbia Historical Society on April 25, 2003.
Conference on New England Archaeology. In May 2003 Mary and Ross Harper presented a talk at the Conference on New England Archaeology. The theme is "Hearth and Home" and the conference is being held at Old Sturbridge Village in Sturbridge, Massachusetts.
Ye Olde Publick Faire. Arianne Corrente, Tim Kuskowski, and Brian Lever participated in this annual fall event at the Stanley-Whitman House in Farmington, CT on September 13, 2003. Along with the help of volunteers from the Connecticut Friends of State Archaeology an archaeological dig was performed and historic artifacts from other sites were displayed, along with information for children and adults about archaeology.
Curiosities of Cady-Copp. Ross Harper, Eric Pomo, and Catherine Aillon-Pomo participated in this Quinebaug-Shetucket Heritage Corridor sponsored Walking Weekend tour of the c.1745 cottage in Putnam, CT on October 18, 2003. PAST, Inc. is in the midst of excavations at the cottage. Ross spoke to the walk's participants about the archaeology being performed at the house while Catherine and Eric worked to continue excavations.
Early America and the Industrial Age in Connecticut
Dr. Eli Todd and the Assumptions of Moral Treatment and Myths, Minds, and Medicine. Bruce Clouette gave a lecture and museum instruction for teachers in 1997 at the Institute of Living, Hartford, CT.
Architectural Millwork in the Industrial Age. Bruce Clouette gave lectures as part of the Willimantic Victorian Home Tour and Symposium in May 1999 and May 2000 in Willimantic, CT.
The Industrial Heritage of New Haven. Bruce Clouette gave a lecture and slide show presentation to the New Haven Preservation Trust, New Haven, CT, in May 2000.
Early Farms and Mills of Northeastern Connecticut. Bruce Clouette gave a lecture and presentation on behalf of the Willington Historical Society, Willington, CT, in September 2000.
The Archaeology of New Haven Roundhouses. Bruce Clouette gave a lecture and slide show presentation to the Connecticut Eastern Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society in March 2002 in Willimantic, CT.
Archaeology on the Roadsides. Mary Harper gave a slide show talk to the Connecticut chapter of the International Rights-of-Way Association in Newington, CT, in September 2002.
Farmwork in Connecticut. Bruce Clouette gave a lecture and slide show presentation at the Franklin Historical Society in Franklin, Connecticut in April 2003.
Strolling Through the Past. Bruce Clouette hosted a 1-hour Quinebaug-Shetucket Heritage Corridor sponsored Walking Weekend tour of the Lebanon Green, Lebanon, CT on October 18, 2003.
Farm Work in Eastern Connecticut, 1880-1930. Bruce Clouette presented a lecture and slide show to the Plainfield Historical Society on December 3, 2003.
Modern History in Connecticut
The New Deal Work Relief Programs in Connecticut. Bruce Clouette gave a lecture on behalf of the Rocky Hill Historical Society, Rocky Hill, CT, in October 2001.
People at Work: 1880-1940. Bruce Clouette gave a lecture to the Manchester Historical Society, Manchester, CT, in April 2002.
Preserving the Past, Invigorating the Present. Bruce Clouette served on a discussion panel in May 2002 for the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation's Statewide Preservation Conference, in Hartford, CT.
Architectural Styles: Hartford's West End. Bruce Clouette gave a walking tour of Hartford's west end on behalf of the West End Civic Association, in Hartford, CT, during June 2002.
The Italian Influence on Hartford's History. Bruce Clouette gave a lecture to residents at the Avery Heights Retirement Village in Hartford, CT, during October 2002.
Careers in Archaeology and Cultural Resource Management
Cultural Resources Career Exposition. In March 2002 Dan Forrest, Lisa Centola, Eric Pomo, and Karen Morando attended the Society for American Archaeology and the American Cultural Resources Association Cultural Resources Career Exposition on behalf of PAST, Inc. They spoke with participants about career path options in the field of cultural resource management.
Society for Historical Archaeology. In January 2003 Dan Forrest, Bruce Clouette, Eric Smith, Brian Lever, Eric Pomo, Karen Morando, and Arianne Corrente attended the annual SHA Conference in Providence, RI. They presented an exhibit in the conference's Book Room on PAST's most recent work and particpated in various workshops and talks geared towards professional development in cultural resource management.
Central Connecticut State University Public History Department. On October 21, 2003 Bruce Clouette participated in the 2nd annual public history panel discussion, "History Outside of the Classroom-Alternative Career Paths for Historians." Bruce spoke to students about his professional background, formal, and informal education and major professional challenges. He also dispensed advice to students entering the field.
PAST, Inc. and the University of Connecticut. Upon entering into a formalized agreement with the University of Connecticut some years ago, PAST, Inc. has regularly hosted interns and work-study students from various departments within the University. These students are supplied with the opportunity to "learn-by-doing" alongside PAST employees-to work in the field and in the lab, training with our staff archaeologists, anthropologists, historians, geologist, and conservator. PAST makes an effort to provide instruction and experience in a student's specific area of interest, and pairs the students with experienced staffers for intense training.
Support Services for Local Organizations
The Ash House, Storrs, CT. Throughout the last year PAST, Inc. has donated services, including the conservation of various artifacts, as part of a private effort to preserve and protect the history of this locally significant site.
Lebanon Historical Society. In 2001 and continuing through 2002 PAST, Inc. donated conservation services to the Lebanon Historical Society to assist in the preservation of artifacts significant in piecing together the town history of Lebanon, CT.
Connecticut Historical Society. PAST employees Bruce Clouette, Arianne Corrente, and Sonia Ives volunteered to judge the regional History Day Competition at Mansfield Middle School on March 30, 2003.
Archaeological Society of Connecticut. Bruce Clouette, Dan Forrest, and Mary Harper participated in the ASC annual meeting at Connecticut College on April 19, 2003 as members of a roundtable panel on preservation issues in Connecticut.
A detailed view of other services we offer:
Archaeological Reconnaissance Surveys
Intensive Archaeological and Historical Studies
Data Recovery and Excavation Projects
Impact Assessment Mitigation Strategies
National Register of Historic Places and National Historic Landmark Documentation
Specialized Lab Services and Artifact Conservation
State- and Federal-Level Historic Documentation
Educational Outreach and Curriculum Development