Archaeologists Re-Open Indian College Excavation in Harvard Yard

Cambridge, August 30, 2011 - This fall, Harvard archaeologists will dig down to the colonial era in Harvard Yard, seeking confirmation that they've located the 17th-century Indian College sited near Matthews Hall.

On Thursday, September 8 at 1:30 PM, The Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology, Harvard University Anthropology Department, and Harvard University Native American Program (HUNAP) invite the public to join the opening ceremony for the fall 2011 archaeological excavation in Harvard Yard.

The Harvard University course, Anthropology 1130: Archaeology of Harvard Yard, is part of the Harvard Yard Archaeology Project, which allows students to gain academic and field experience in historical archaeology. The excavation will be in the Old Yard near the location of earliest Harvard structures, which included the 1638 Old College, the first university building in the United States, and the Harvard Indian College, the first brick building erected in the Yard in 1655.

2005 marked the 350th anniversary of the Harvard Indian College, which rekindled interest in the stories of Harvard’s early students and the material culture that lies beneath the surface of Harvard Yard. The University continues to makes strides in scholarly programs and initiatives that relate to contemporary Native America and cross cultural stakeholders. As Harvard looks toward its 375th anniversary, (officially in October), the public is invited to the opening ceremony to honor, learn, and share in the living Harvard history and acknowledge the Harvard Yard Archaeology Project’s many supporters and collaborators.

About the Peabody Museum
The Peabody Museum is among the oldest archaeological and ethnographic museums in the world with one of the finest collections of human cultural history found anywhere. It is home to superb materials from Africa, ancient Europe, North America, Mesoamerica, Oceania, and South America in particular. In addition to its archaeological and ethnographic holdings, the Museum’s photographic archives, one of the largest of its kind, hold more than 500,000 historical photographs, dating from the mid-nineteenth century to the present and chronicling anthropology, archaeology, and world culture.

Hours and location: 9 A.M. to 5 P.M., seven days a week. The Museum is closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. Admission is $9 for adults, $7 for students and seniors, $6 for children, 3–18. Free with Harvard ID or Museum membership. The Museum is free to Massachusetts residents Sundays, 9 A.M. to noon, year round, and Wednesdays from 3 P.M. to 5 P.M. (September to May). Admission includes admission to the Harvard Museum of Natural History. For more information call 617-496-1027 or go online to: The Peabody Museum is located at 11 Divinity Avenue in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Museum is a short walk from the Harvard Square MBTA station.

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Media Contact:

Faith Sutter
Communications Coordinator
Peabody Museum
Tel: 617-495-3397


At the 2009 Harvard Yard Archaeology Project Opening Ceremony, Tobias Vanderhoop (Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head - Aquinnah) offered a prayer.

High resolution images available on request.

Related exhibition Digging Veritas: The Archaeology and History of the Indian College and Student Life at Colonial Harvard.

Related lecture: 10/20 The Ground Remembers: Archaeology of Harvard's Founding

Related open house: 10/22 Harvard Yard Archaeology Project Excavation

Related excavation wrap-up: 10/27 Results Day

Harvard Yard Archaeology Project