Trevor Lamb interns with National Park Service

This summer Environmental Archaeology Lab member Trevor Lamb is serving as the Archaeology Interpretation Development Intern at Blackstone Valley National Historical Park, which is located in the Blackstone River Valley of south-central Massachusetts and northeast Rhode Island. Earlier this month he led a hands-on paleoethnobotany workshop at the “First Friday” event held at Slater Mill in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. Events included face painting, birdwatching, and live Cape Verdean music. One of the performers used a traditional Cape Verdean instrument called the cimboa which is made of a hollowed-out bottle gourd (Lagenaria siceraria). Trevor used this as a starting point to create a variety of paleoethnobotany-focused activities that allowed visitors to explore the history of the bottle gourd and a suite of other crops that were domesticated by Indigenous people in Eastern North America c. 4000 BP, which archaeologists call the “Eastern Agricultural Complex”. Visitors got to view charred goosefoot (Chenopodium berlandieri) seeds under the microscope, look at maize phytoliths and 3D-printed phytolith models, and color sheets with information about common “weeds”, like goosefoot, that tell exciting stories about people and plants.

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