Hamilton Gallery displays archaeological findings by Salve students
The Dorrance H. Hamilton Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of “From the Ice Age to the Gilded Age: Archaeological Research at Salve Regina University.” This show will feature artifacts and research related to archaeological work by Salve Regina students within the Noreen Stonor Drexel Cultural and Historic Preservation (CHP) Program. The exhibit will run from Jan. 18 – Feb.14.
Archaeology seeks to help the modern world understand its past through the objects people left behind. This exhibition will take visitors on a journey through New England’s history with the help of artifacts recovered by students, who conducted two archaeological digs in Maine and on the grounds of Ochre Court.
This exhibition was co-curated by Dr. Heather Rockwell, assistant professor in the CHP program in the Department of Cultural, Environmental and Global Studies, and Kaleigh Trischman ’25, a CHP and double major in sociology and anthropology.
The two archaeological digs represented in the exhibit span thousands of years — from the time of the earliest indigenous hunter-gatherers to the 19th-century East Coast elite who would spend their summers in Newport, Rhode Island.
Students in the CHP program didn’t have to travel far for hands-on experience in the field, as there were archaeological artifacts right in their backyard.
As a year-long project, these students have been digging up artifacts outside of Ochre Court and McAuley Hall. However, their findings have been nothing short of surprising. While examining artifacts from the 1800s, the students discovered artifacts from Colonial America, and these unique artifacts and their stories will be on display as part of the exhibit.
In addition to the excavations at Salve, an excavation in northern Maine sent Salve students back in time even further as they explored prehistoric archaeology.
“This is the time period when there are woolly mammoths walking around,” described Dr. Rockwell. “We get to see and talk a lot about environmental change and the kinds of animals that were there.”
As one of only eight in the country, the CHP program provides students with a unique opportunity to participate in hands-on research out in the field. This experience is not only important for student exploration, but is vital for students entering the beginning of their professional careers.
“I got to take part in a dig really early on in my career, and it’s what cemented me wanting to be an archaeologist,” explained Dr. Rockwell. “You get to live out your eight-year-old fantasy of doing jobs that you didn’t realize were jobs.”
“From the Ice Age to the Gilded Age” will illustrate these indispensable experiences through the curation of artifacts that tell the stories of American history.
The Dorrance H. Hamilton Gallery is located in the Antone Academic Center on the campus of Salve Regina. It is handicap accessible with parking along Lawrence Avenue and Leroy Avenue. Its exhibits are open to the public Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Wednesdays and Fridays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Saturdays and Sundays from Noon to 4 p.m. The gallery is closed on Mondays.