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Communications and Marketing

Archaeological Field School draws widespread media coverage

Urban archaeologist and Assistant Professor of Anthropology Rebecca Graff led students on an urban dig at a home in Chicago’s Old Irving Park neighborhood searching for evidence of Underground Railroad activity.

Built in 1856 by abolitionist and former Cook County sheriff John Gray, the house was long-rumored to be a stop on the Underground Railroad, a network of secret routes and safe houses established during the early to mid-19thcentury to assist enslaved African-Americans escaping to free states and Canada with the aid of people who were sympathetic to their cause.

Students enrolled in SOAN 205: Archaeological Field School worked hands-on in the field documenting the dig site and recovered artifacts.

Several broadcast and print media teams covered the action during a Media Day/Open House:

The excavation is part of Digital Chicago: Unearthing History and Culture, an $800,000, four-year grant at Lake Forest College from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to to involve students and faculty in exploring specific sites in Chicago’s history, through urban archaeological digs, innovative digital projects, and complementary coursework in a wide array of disciplines, including English, history, art, music, and others. This is the College’s second Archaeological Field School.

—Sangjun Hornewer ’20