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* M E D I A A D V I S O R Y *
Queen’s University, UMass Lowell to Showcase Dig Artifacts, Discuss Future Plans
Thursday March 10, 2011
WHAT: In August 2010, a team of archaeologists from Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland and a group of students from the University of Massachusetts Lowell began excavating the lawn in front of St. Patrick Church in Lowell’s Acre neighborhood. Their quest: To uncover evidence of the city’s first settlement of Irish immigrants, laborers who came to Lowell in the 1820s to dig canals.
The excavation, the result of a collaboration between UMass Lowell’s Center for Irish Partnerships and Queen’s University, uncovered more than 1,300 artifacts, including sections of rosary beads, pieces of clay pipes, buttons, pottery shards and more. Each item provided a clue to the history of the first wave of Irish immigrants who settled in shanties in the city’s Acre neighborhood.
At the forum, artifacts uncovered during the five-day dig will be displayed and members of the team involved in the excavation will present the results and discuss the project. The team will also talk about next steps in the collaboration, which include additional archaeological digs
The event is free and open to the public.
Colm Donnelly, archaeologist and director of the Center for Archaeological Fieldwork, Queen’s University, Belfast;
Frank Talty, co-director of the Center for Irish Partnerships at UMass Lowell;
David McKean, historian and archivist, St. Patrick Church, Lowell;
WHERE: O’Leary Library, Room 222, UML South, 61 Wilder St., Lowell