Thursday, August 13, 2009

My New Blog!

Welcome to Tidewater Historian! My name is Sean Heuvel and I am a faculty member at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, VA, where I teach in their Department of Leadership and American Studies. I specialize in American history (Civil War), higher education studies, and leadership studies. Over the years, I have seen friends and family start up blogs to showcase personal or professional interests. As an active writer and scholar, I thought this may be a good way to share my professional activities and interests with friends, family, and interested visitors. Most of the content on this site will center around my writing/research projects and my interests in higher education, Virginia history, and the Civil War. However, I will also include content about my everyday life and times. My better half, the beautiful and vivacious Katey Cunningham Heuvel will also be featured prominently, too! Thanks in advance for your interest and support and stay tuned for regular updates!

1 comment:

  1. Sean,

    I'd sent the following link about copper fingerprinting to geologist Scott Wolter last fall. Today noticed that article #49 pertains to the Tidewater region of Virginia and thought you might enjoy putting it in your blog.
    Thank you for your fine web site.

    Susan English, traveling along the ancient Great Lakes-Mississippi Riverways ...

    49. Righting History (C. PELLERIN).

    American Archaeology, Vol. 5, No. 1, pp. 29-33, 2001, pp. Spring.

    Virginia's Tidewater region, with its famous Jamestown settlement, is rich in history. In 1994 the original Jamestown settlement was identified. It is located in a pasture in the floodplain on the Rivanna River just north of Charlottesville, Virginia. In the summer of 2000, Jeffrey Hantman and 20 of his students in the archaeology department at the University of Virginia excavated units at what is believed to be the Indian village of Monasukapanough, which was included on a map drawn by John Smith in 1612. The researchers have found the village midden (refuse heap), which contains rare artifacts dating to the 15-17th centuries. Hantman hopes to open up a broad area to learn more about the structure of the village, one of the largest in the Monacan territory and one of few contemporary with the Jamestown settlement. When European settlers moved in after the Monacans, they cleared the fields at the river. This caused increased flooding that deposited about a foot of silt over the village. The river was probably the middle of the village, not the boundary. In 1784 Thomas Jefferson conducted a systemic excavation of a large burial mound at Monasukapanough, using trenching and stratigraphy (geology that deals with the origin, composition, distribution, and succession of data) strategies. He recorded it in his "Notes of the State of Virginia." Hantman says Jefferson's technique was about 100 years ahead of his time. It was the first scientific excavation in North America. History records that the Monacans were hostile and barbaric. Hantman thinks otherwise. Evidence points to a sophisticated society whose members had no need to trade with the colonists. The Powhatan tribe valued copper and may have considered it a source of power and authority. The Powhatans and the Monacans were enemies, but in order to obtain copper, the Powhatans had to transport it through Monacan territory. John Smith and the colonists brought copper with them, so the Powhatans traded corn for the colonists' copper and became their allies, thus freeing them from dependence upon the Monacans. The Monacans were officially recognized by the State of Virginia in 1989 and have since applied for federal recognition of their Native American Status. One requirement for federal recognition is that the tribe document a continuous history in a particular region. The first data confirmation at the village site was from charcoal found near the river and radiocarbon dated--the data that came back was 1670. Having also discovered a deeper, earlier level of occupation that dates from 1300-1400, Hantman has documented continuous use of the site from that time through the contact period.

    From: "A Brief History of Copper" (released October 2005) by Marianne Stanczak:


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