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In service of the archeological excavation site at the Parsonage in Germantown, NY, an exploration of analytical techniques could prove useful towards ethnohistoric interpretations of recently uncovered artifacts. Through the 18th and 19th century, the Parsonage housed the Calvinist minister of Germantown, as well as several families of African-American descent, both free and in bondage. An etching of a traditional Bakongo Cosmogram found on a wooden frame alongside the hearth in the basement of the Parsonage, which probably served as the slave quarters, had, along with other material evidence,raised interest in the strong possibility of the fireplace's use as an altar in veneration and healing rituals. Through extraction, microscopy, and spectroscopy of trace chemical and botanical evidence,I attempt to reveal more about the practices and habits of the Parsonage dwellers, and provide further proof of the spiritual activity that might have taken place there.
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Ronen, Liri, "Sediment Analysis of Biochemical Trace Evidence for West African Spiritual Activity in 19th Century Germantown" (2021). Senior Projects Spring 2021. 76.
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