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Anthropology @ Brown


Brown University
Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World
and Department of American Civilization
Wayne State University
Department of Anthropology

The Greene Farm Archaeology Project's research focuses on documenting and interpreting five centuries of cultural and natural landscape transformations on one of the few remaining Providence Plantations. Since 2004, the project's five seasons of archaeological surveys and excavations have unearthed important information about the Greene Farm landscape's deep and long-term history. The project has also uncovered unique archaeological insights into the Greene and Brown families' everyday lives and into the technologies, sociopolitical climate, and global exchange networks of colonial and early Republic America.

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To date an archaeological crew composed of students from Brown University, the University of Massachusetts-Boston, the University of Rhode Island, and several other universities have conducted intensive landscape surveys across one-fifth of the property, and excavations of an 18th-century kitchen outbuilding associated with the Brown family (2004-05), an ironworking area associated with the Greene family during the 18th century (2005-06), and the Old House area, a cluster of very early colonial structures and a midden, which are associated with the first generations of the Greene family (also the first European settlers) in Warwick (2006-present). The Old House (ca. mid-1650s-1711) is the focus of ongoing excavations and interdisciplinary research; its relatively undisturbed and rich archaeological record is a significant contribution to our understandings of the complexities of colonial life in the 17th century.

GFAP is an archaeological project designed to facilitate interdisciplinary research with a broad range of scholars and volunteers, from engineers and architects, to historians and geophysicists, using established and experimental methods. As a long-term research project, GFAP aims to record, preserve, and protect the property's extraordinary archaeological and historical resources.

Greene Farm, Warwick, Rhode Island

Surgeon John Greene purchased Greene Farm from the Narragansett sachem Miantonomi in 1642. Greene initially called the 700+ acres "Greene's Hold", and the parcel was the largest in 17th century Warwick. By 1663 Surgeon John Greene and/or his son Major John Greene, Jr. constructed dwelling(s) along the southwest coast of the Occupaspatuxet Cove, where they lived while cultivating and trading from the property until about 1700.

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Five generations of Greenes owned the estate until 1782, when John Brown (1736-1803), a wealthy, powerful Providence merchant and co-founder of Brown University, bought it. The farm was then worked by tenant farmers, and the Brown family used it as a country retreat. Brown’s grandson, Governor John Brown Francis (1791-1864), returned to the property, where he and his descendants remain today.

News and Updates

The 2009 field season runs from June 1 - 26. View our progress here: 2009 Field Season

View the excavations from previous field seasons here: click here

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Research updates: we are incorporating interdisciplinary research into our analyses of the Greene Farm material culture. This includes our recent work with materials science by our 2008 UTRA undergraduate students using artifacts excavated this season from the Old House. The UTRA students worked with the Material Matters Research Group [link].

Greene Farm Archaeology Links








IMAGES and SLIDESHOWS from 2004-2008 Field Seasons: click here 

 slideshow link and images

Project Crew

Co-Principal Investigators:
Project Historian, Dr. Caroline Frank, Brown University, Department of History and Department of American Civilization
Project Archaeologist, Dr. Krysta Ryzewski, Wayne State University, Department of Anthropology.

Project Researchers:
Thomas Urban, Brown University Environmental Geophysics Group and Oxford University
Randi Scott, University of Rhode Island, Department of Sociology and Anthropology '''

Greene Farm Field Crews (past and present)

Please check back regularly for updates

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