Next Meeting Date: Friday, May 17th, 7:00 pm at Tennent Church (Old Scots’ Hall) in Englishtown, NJ

BRAVO President Dan Sivilich will give a presentation on: “Musket Balls from the Boston Massacre; Are They Authentic?”

In 1940 a picture frame containing two musket balls and two notes handwritten in quill pen were donated to the Massachusetts Historical Society in Boston by one W. F. Meredith.  They are reported to be the only remaining artifacts from the March 5, 1770 Boston Massacre. They are so iconic, that at one time they were loaned to the Hoover Presidential Library and Museum in Iowa.  According to the notes, one went through the shutter of Edward Payne’s house and the other broke the small bone in his arm and lodged in a door post. He lived across the street from the Custom House where the British soldiers fired from and was a witness to the event. Payne testified during the subsequent trial of Captain Thomas Preston, the British officer who was present at the massacre.  But the question is – are they authentic? To date, there has not been a connection established between W. F. Meredith and the Payne family. The Massachusetts Historical Society granted the author and a team of experts unprecedented access to these two artifacts. This paper will discuss the forensic analyses that were conducted to attempt to answer that question.

The next BRAVO meeting is Monday, August 5th, 7:00 pm meeting at Tennent Church (Old Scots’ Hall) in Englishtown, NJ and will feature noted archaeologist Richard Veit, Ph.D as our guest speaker. He will present a slide show on:

Searching for the Citadel at Morristown National Historical Park: Monmouth University’s Summer 2017-2018 Field Schools

Abstract: Monmouth University’s summer 2017 field school was a cooperative project between Monmouth University’s Department of History and Anthropology, Rutgers University Newark’s Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, and the National Park Service. The project investigated Fort Hill, aka the Citadel, and associated camps in the Jockey Hollow area of Morristown National Historical Park. It was designed to determine the extent and integrity of the archaeological deposits on Fort Hill, while testing the value of remote sensing techniques, most notably induced polarization, a form of resistivity. Testing was carried out at a Revolutionary War fortification constructed in 1780 and a hut site associated with the encampments of 1779-1780 and 1780-1781. Fieldwork consisted of a geophysical survey and photogrammetry, followed by shovel test pits, excavation units, and metal detecting. In the shallow rocky soils at Jockey Hollow, metal detecting and photogrammetry proved to be the most useful investigative techniques.

Monmouth University’s summer 2017 field school was a cooperative project between Monmouth University’s Department of History and Anthropology, Rutgers University Newark’s Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, and the National Park Service. The project investigated Fort Hill, aka the Citadel, and associated camps in the Jockey Hollow area of Morristown National Historical Park. It was designed to determine the extent and integrity of the archaeological deposits on Fort Hill, while testing the value of remote sensing techniques, most notably induced polarization, a form of resistivity. Testing was carried out at a Revolutionary War fortification constructed in 1780 and a hut site associated with the encampments of 1779-1780 and 1780-1781. Fieldwork consisted of a geophysical survey and photogrammetry, followed by shovel test pits, excavation units, and metal detecting. In the shallow rocky soils at Jockey Hollow, metal detecting and photogrammetry proved to be the most useful investigative techniques.

Richard Veit, Ph.D. is Professor of Anthropology and Chair of the Department of History and Anthropology at Monmouth University. In 2007 he was the recipient of Monmouth University’s distinguished teacher award.  He has served on the board of the Archaeological Society of New Jersey since 1994, and is a Past President of the organization. He has authored or co-authored numerous articles and reviews and five books including Digging New Jersey’s Past: Historical Archaeology in the Garden State (Rutgers Press 2002), New Jersey Cemeteries and Tombstones History in the Landscape (co-authored by Mark Nonestied, Rutgers Press 2008), and New Jersey: A History of the Garden State (co-authored with Maxine Lurie, Rutgers Press 2012).  He also regular presents on topics relating to historical archaeology and New Jersey history and has been a TED speaker.

Next tentative meeting dates are:

  • October 7th
  • December 2nd
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