Digging New Jersey's Past: Historical Archaeology in the Garden State

Richard Veit
When people think of archaeology, they commonly think of unearthing the remains of ancient civilizations in Egypt, Greece, Rome, Central or South America. But some fascinating history can be found in your own New Jersey backyard -- if you know where to look. Richard Veit takes readers on a well-organized guided tour through four hundred years of Garden State development as seen through archaeology in Digging New Jersey's Past. This illustrated guidebook takes readers to some of the state's most interesting discoveries and tells us what has been learned or is being learned from them. The diverse array of archaeological sites, drawn from all parts of the state, includes a seventeenth-century Dutch trading post, the site of the Battle of Monmouth, the gravemarkers of freed slaves, and a 1920s railroad roundhouse, among others. Veit begins by explaining what archaeologists do: How do they know where to dig? What sites are likely to yield important information? How do archaeologists excavate a site? How are artifacts cataloged, stored, and interpreted? He then moves through the state's history, from the contact of first peoples and explorers, to colonial homesteads, Revolutionary War battlefields, cemeteries, railroads, and factories. Veit concludes with some thoughts about the future of archaeological research in New Jersey and with suggestions on ways that interested individuals can become involved in the field. Richard Veit is an assistant professor in the Department of History and Anthropology at Monmouth University and the director of the university's Center for New Jersey History.

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