An­thro­pol­o­gist awarded grant to look at 1,400 years

The Enterprise - - News - John Whar­ton jwhar­ton@somd­ Twit­ter: @JohnEn­tNews

Time­lines are rel­a­tive, such as the roughly five cen­turies of Euro­pean pres­ence in the West­ern Hemi­sphere that mea­sure as a frac­tion of the 1,400-year pe­riod that a St. Mary’s an­thro­pol­o­gist is study­ing, with a ma­jor boost from a na­tional grant.

Ju­lia King, a pro­fes­sor of an­thro­pol­ogy at St. Mary’s Col­lege of Mary­land, quickly ob­served this week that those many more cen­turies of life of the Rap­pa­han­nock In­di­ans in Virginia also are just a small part of the 8,000 to 9,000 years that peo­ple have lived in that area. Ra­dio-car­bon test­ing has shown that hu­man be­ings ar­rived in what is now Penn­syl­va­nia and else­where in Virginia, she said, about 14,000 years ago.

“We’re just do­ing a smidgen,” King said, “when you think about it.”

The col­lege an­nounced last month that King, in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Virginia De­part­ment of His­toric Re­sources, Ch­e­sa­peake Con­ser­vancy and the state-rec­og­nized Rap­pa­han­nock Tribe of Virginia, have been awarded a $240,000 grant from the Na­tional En­dow­ment for the Hu­man­i­ties to trace the his­tory and devel­op­ment of the Rap­pa­han­nock In­di­ans, from the year 200 A.D. to 1850. The col­lege’s an­thro­pol­ogy de­part­ment be­gan be­gan study­ing the Rap­pa­han­nock River val­ley’s his­tory last year, join­ing an ef­fort to pro­vide in­ter­pre­tive sup­port for a his­toric trail, amid the Rap­pa­han­nock In­di­ans’ re­ceipt of re­cently re­turned river­side ar­eas of their an­ces­tral home­land.

The grant will al­low the col­lege and the Rap­pa­han­nock In­di­ans to ex­pand the study of the river val­ley, ac­cord­ing to a re­lease, by ex­am­in­ing ar­chae­o­log­i­cal col­lec­tions in mu­se­ums and con­duct­ing field­work through­out the water­shed. In ad­di­tion to fo­cus­ing on the tra­jec­to­ries of move­ment into and within the Rap­pa­han­nock val­ley, and how the Rap­pa­han­nock peo­ple de­vel­oped groups and po­lit­i­cal iden­ti­ties dur­ing those 14 cen­turies, the study will seek a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of the re­ac­tion of the peo­ple liv­ing in the river val­ley to Euro­pean con­tact and col­o­niza­tion.

“Na­tive Amer­i­cans were here thou­sands of years be­fore that,” King said, and their de­scen­dants want to in­crease an aware­ness of that pre-colo­nial pres­ence. “They wanted to get a long view of their his­tory,” she said. “The pur­pose of this grant is to stretch the time­line.”

The vast breadth of the project is not just mea­sured by the cal­en­dar, as the Rap­pa­han­nock River’s run through south­east­ern Virginia, from Port Royal to Urbana, cov­ers well over 50 miles.

“It’s also go­ing to be a broad ge­o­graph­i­cal area,” King said.

The time­line’s start in the year 200 co­in­cides with an “ex­plo­sion in sites,” she said. While the mu­se­ums in Wash­ing­ton, D.C., and Rich­mond, Va., have sub­stan­tial ev­i­dence to re­search those mi­gra­tions and tran­si­tions, King also noted the im­por­tance of the ev­i­dence gath­er­ing al­ready done at the scene, re­vealed “when we started talk­ing to farm­ers, and look­ing at their col­lec­tions.”

King’s re­search team, in­clud­ing an­thro­pol­ogy in­struc­tor Scott Strick­land and two un­der­grad­u­ate stu­dents, will con­tinue do­ing field work and re­search of their own, along with Chief G. Anne Richard­son of the Rap­pa­han­nock Tribe and tribal mem­bers. A lot of that kind of work went in to sup­port the ap­pli­ca­tion for the new fund­ing from the Na­tional En­dow­ment for the Hu­man­i­ties.

“We did a lot of re­search just to pre­pare for this grant,” King said.

Bird hunt­ing be­gins to­day

The Mary­land De­part­ment of Nat­u­ral Re­sources has an­nounced the state’s 2017-2018 early mi­gra­tory game bird hunt­ing sea­sons.

The sea­son dates in­clude one start­ing to­day, Sept. 1, for dove hunt­ing, which will con­tinue through Oct. 14, to be fol­lowed by a sec­ond sec­ond from Oct. 26 to Nov. 18, and a third sea­son from Dec. 16 to Jan. 6, 2018.

The hunt­ing sea­sons for wood­cock run from Oct. 27 to Nov. 24, and from Jan. 12 to 27, 2018.

An early res­i­dent Canada goose sea­son also be­gins to­day, Sept. 1, con­tin­u­ing in the Eastern zone un­til Sept. 15 and in the West­ern zone un­til Sept 25. Hunters are al­lowed to use shot­guns ca­pa­ble of hold­ing more than three shot shells. Shoot­ing hours are ex­tended to a half-hour be­fore sun­rise to a half-hour af­ter sun­set.

Give coats, share warmth

A “Share the Warmth” coat drive will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Satur­day, Sept. 9, at Gospel Taber­na­cle of Prayer Church in Cle­ments, hosted by the church’s Com­mu­nity Evan­ge­list Out­reach Ministry. Do­na­tions will be ac­cepted, and coats will be given away on a first-come, first-served ba­sis.

For more in­for­ma­tion, call Juanita But­ler at 301-481-1644 or the church at 301-760-2966.

Eat break­fast Sept. 10 at Val­ley Lee fire­house

An all-you-can-eat break­fast will be served from 8 to 11 a.m. on Sun­day, Sept. 10, at the 2nd District Vol­un­teer Fire De­part­ment and Res­cue Squad build­ing, lo­cated at 45245 Dray­den Road in Val­ley Lee.

The menu will in­clude scram­bled eggs, home fried pota­toes, pan­cakes, French toast, sausage links, ham, ba­con, creamed chipped beef, sausage gravy, spiced ap­ple­sauce, grits, hot bis­cuits, as­sorted juices, milk and cof­fee. For more in­for­ma­tion, call 301-994-9999.

Then, re­turn and do­nate blood the next day

An Amer­i­can Red Cross blood drive will be held from 1:30 to 7 p.m. on Mon­day, Sept. 11, at the 2nd District Vol­un­teer Fire De­part­ment and Res­cue Squad build­ing, lo­cated at 45245 Dray­den Road in Val­ley Lee. Call 800-RED­CROSS to sched­ule an ap­point­ment.

Farm bill talk planned Sept. 13 in Leonard­town

The St. Mary’s Soil Con­ser­va­tion District, in part­ner­ship with the fed­eral Nat­u­ral Re­sources Con­ser­va­tion Ser­vice, will be host­ing its an­nual lo­cal work group meet­ing at 9 a.m. on Wed­nes­day, Sept. 13, at the St. Mary’s Agri­cul­ture Ser­vice Cen­ter, lo­cated in Suite C at 26737 Ra­dio Sta­tion Way in Leonard­town.

The soil con­ser­va­tion district will be seek­ing as­sis­tance in de­ter­min­ing what prac­tices or sys­tems should re­ceive pri­or­ity fund­ing for fis­cal year 2018. Dis­cus­sion will in­clude a re­view of cur­rent fis­cal year de­ci­sions and pro­vide in­put on pri­or­i­tiz­ing lo­cal nat­u­ral re­source con­cerns for 2018 in St. Mary’s County and statewide across all U.S. agri­cul­ture farm bill pro­grams.

For more in­for­ma­tion, call 301-475-8402, or go online to http://of­ and

Broad­way re­view com­ing to Chap­tico

Christ Epis­co­pal Church in Chap­tico will present a Broad­way re­view fea­tur­ing mem­bers of The New­towne Play­ers at 6 p.m. on Satur­day, Sept. 16, in the parish hall lo­cated at 37497 Zach Fowler Road.

The din­ner will fea­ture an ar­ray of desserts, and the mu­sic will in­clude selec­tions from many fa­vorite Broad­way shows. As part of the evening’s fundrais­ing, there will be a silent auc­tion.

Make reser­va­tions by call­ing the parish hall of­fice at 301-8843451, or send email to of­fice@ by Sept 10. Child care will be pro­vided. For more in­for­ma­tion and di­rec­tions, go online to

DNR of­fers dis­counted hunt­ing li­censes

The Mary­land De­part­ment of Nat­u­ral Re­sources is of­fer­ing a new hunt­ing li­cense for first-time hunters.

For more in­for­ma­tion, call 877-620-8DNR (8367), or go online to http://dnr.mary­­pren­tice­ship-Hunt­ing-Li­cense.aspx.


Ju­lia King is a pro­fes­sor of an­thro­pol­ogy at St. Mary’s Col­lege of Mary­land.

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