LU Students Participate in Archaeological Survey and Infrared Scan

By: Dr. Christine E. Boston

Dr. Boston and students using the infrared camera at the dig site. (Photos provided by Dr.Boston)

LINCOLN UNIVERSITY- On Saturday, Feb. 25 Lincoln University students, under the supervision of Associate Professor of Anthropology and Sociology, Dr. Christine E. Boston, participated in an archaeological survey and Infrared Scan at the Don Carlos site in mid-Missouri. Infrared specialists Taimen and Marie Taylor were on hand to demonstrate the utility of infrared technology in archaeological work.

“I’ve never heard of infrared scanning being used as part of a survey before, and I wanted to see the technique used and learn how it could help archeologists with finding potential artifacts.” said Clarion News interviewees.

Infrared Scanning is one of my remote sensing techniques that allows archaeologists to preview what may be beneath the ground surface prior to excavating. Infrared scanning requires a specialized camera that reads the ground for temperature differences that may be evidence of something under ground that warrants further investigation. The Taylors have previously worked with cemetery specialists who are working to locate missing and lost grave sites, and they provided their expertise to educate the students and aid Boston in locating potential areas of further investigation this spring and summer.

Student showing how to use an infrared camera at the dig.

Boston provided students the opportunity to conduct a pedestrian survey prior to conducting the Infrared scan of the site. Blake Oakley, a history major, and Travis Barrett, a biology major, walked across the site and located various surface artifacts, including pieces of embossed glass and ceramic fragments. These artifacts are similar to those previously recovered from the historic period site, which was the home of one of the earliest residents of the area: the Don Carlos family.

Oakley and Barrett then participated in the Infrared Scan. They used the camera to scan the site and identify specific areas for further investigation.

“I learned a wide variety of new information about Infrared technology and archeological site practices,” said Oakley about his experience. He also noted that he enjoyed the experience as it allowed him to apply the skills he was learning while pursuing his history degree.

Information about the Don Carlos family and site:

The Don Carlos family lore holds that the original immigrant Don Carlos was the second son of Elizabeth Farnese and Philip V of Spain. After the War for Polish Succession in 1739, the prince lost his land and title. Rather than depending on a family allowance, his pride and family tradition drove him to the New World to make his own way, arriving in New York and settling in Patrick County, Virginia.

One of his son’s, Carter Morgan Don Carlos, moved with his first wife to Rocheport, MO, in 1825, where he was encouraged by a prominent politician to move south, which he did in 1828. According to the historical and family records Carter Morgan and his wife arrived with one slave that had been given to them by another family member, and they had to purchase all new home goods due as their property was lost in a boat fire.

The first family home was completed in 1832, and a second was built between 1854 and 1866 on newly acquired land a few miles north of the first home.

Carter Morgan lived on this property with his three wives and 22 children (15 raised to maturity). Carter Morgan passed away in 1888, and the property was passed on to his wife, who resided there with their youngest son Carter. Carter and his wife eventually sold the property to the Meyer family in 1942.

According to research conducted by Spencer (one of the authors) Carter Morgan Don Carlos was of lower to middle class means, which was derived from the costs of their land holdings, analysis of glass artifacts at the site, and anecdotal and historical records about their occupations, past times, and material goods

About The Clarion News

Campus and community news produced by journalism students at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Mo.
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