Pine Hill Village (2017)

A page collecting the resources and results from the 2017 iteration of ARCN 246: Archaeological Methods.


Throughout the spring of 2017, the Archaeological Methods class conducted archaeological research and fieldwork – surveys and excavations – in the Cowling Arboretum. This website provides personal field journals and weekly reports on our progress. It also serves as the primary venue for publishing the results of our fieldwork in the form of student projects. Students’ group projects range from analysis of materials collected to historical analysis various sites to oral histories.

As a whole, the course was conceived as an introduction to archaeological practice and process. Students learned the foundational methods of archaeological research design and fieldwork, including techniques of survey, mapping, documentation, excavation, artifact identification and analysis, and archaeological interpretation. The remit of the course also went beyond survey tracts and excavation trenches. Students engaged with issues of presentation and representation, interacted with professional and non-professional audiences, became familiar with political and ethical challenges, and integrated data from other sources into their research (e.g., documents, oral histories, museum collections).  The pages found on this site are the product of this work.

The Pine Hill Village Site


A close-up of Pine Hill Village (Archives)

Most of the class’s work focused on the site of what was Pine Hill Village, a little-remembered housing complex installed after WWII to house returning veterans and their families, in lieu of traditional dorm housing. The village, which existed from 1946 to 1955, was situated between the Cowling Arboretum and what is now the Recreation Center, occupying much of what is now a lacrosse field. A total of 46 prefabricated home units once housed veterans and their families, but when the village no longer became necessary, these were sold to a local real estate company. The map below shows the location of the site. Students in the Archaeology class, led by professor Alex Knodell, worked together to find out more information about Pine Hill Village and the lives of those who lived there. As an Academic Civic Engagement course, we had the opportunity to contribute to the history of the local community by uncovering some of the history of this site.