Rebecca Yamin's "Archaeology at the Site of the Museum of the American Revolution" in convo w/ Mark Turdo

Please join us for a reading and discussion with

—author of Archaeology at the Site
of the Museum of the American Revolution

in converstaion with MARK TURDO, curator at the Museum of the American Revolution!

When the Museum of the American Revolution acquired the land at Third and Chestnut streets in Old City, Philadelphia, it came with the condition that an archaeological investigation be conducted. The excavation that began in the summer of 2014 yielded treasures in the trash: unearthed privy pits provided remarkable finds from a mid-eighteenth-century tavern to relics from a button factory dating to the early twentieth century. These artifacts are described and analyzed by urban archaeologist Rebecca Yamin in Archaeology at the Site of the Museum of the American Revolution. 

Yamin, lead archaeologist on the dig, catalogues items—including earthenware plates and jugs, wig curlers, clay pipes, and liquor bottles—to tell the stories of their owners and their roles in Philadelphia history. As she uncovers the history of the people as well as their houses, taverns, and buildings that were once on the site, she explains that by looking at these remains, we see the story of the growth of Philadelphia from its colonial beginnings to the Second World War. 

Archaeology at the Site of the Museum of the American Revolution is a perfect keepsake for armchair archaeologists, introductory students, and history buffs.

“Rebecca Yamin weaves a fascinating story of an evolving American urban community from the forgotten fragments of a quarter city block that survived under a 20th-century building. The engaging narrative of Archaeology at the Site of the Museum of the American Revolution serves as a call to action to include archeological investigation and reporting within the planning process of all American cities
Dr. Pamela J. Cressey, City Archaeologist, Alexandria VA, 1977-2012

“With Archaeology at the Site of the Museum of the American Revolution, Rebecca Yamin has created for us an eloquent narrative illuminating the hidden past of a largely forgotten Philadelphia. Skillfully meshing the historic sources with the shattered remnants of pottery, bone, and metal, she has recovered a previously unknown history to tell a story of largely ordinary people. It is, in fact, a microcosm of a larger story, the epic of America! Since all history is local, Yamin makes it larger by her brilliant inferences of what occurred on this site over time. The discarded trash and soil presents a tale of urban survival and persistence—and all of us are better for it.”
David Gerald Orr, Fellow, American Academy in Rome

REBECCA YAMIN is an historical archaeologist specializing in urban archaeology and the former director of the Philadelphia branch office of John Milner Associates, Inc., a company that specialized in historic preservation and cultural resource management. She is the author of Digging in the City of Brotherly Love: Stories from Philadelphia Archaeology and Rediscovering Raritan Landing: An Adventure in New Jersey Archaeology, and the co-editor of Landscape Archaeology: Reading and Interpreting the American Historical Landscape.

MARK A. TURDO has been curator at the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia since October 2016. As part of his job, he gets to spend time with the artifacts found at the Museum site. He also contributes to the Museum's collections, exhibitions, and education programs.

Event date: 
Thursday, March 14, 2019 - 6:30pm to 8:00pm
Event address: 
Penn Book Center
130 S. 34th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Archaeology at the Site of the Museum of the American Revolution: A Tale of Two Taverns and the Growth of Philadelphia Cover Image
ISBN: 9781439916421
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Temple University Press - December 14th, 2018