Center for Archaeological Research

University of Mississippi

Survey and Excavations at Rowan Oak

During the Fall 2016 semester, CAR and the Department of Sociology and Anthropology are conducting archaeological investigation at Rowan Oak, an antebellum home in Oxford that is owned by the University of Mississippi.  Rowan Oak is famous as being the home of William Faulkner, but the house was originally built in the 1840s by Robert Sheegog, an early Oxford settler, landowner, and slaveholder.  An important goal of this project, which is being conducted in conjunction with the “Slavery and the University Working Group,” is to start building a context for investigating slavery at the University of Mississippi and in the Oxford area by identifying the places, spaces, and material remains of antebellum life on the Sheegog estate.

Fieldwork at Rowan Oak will include geophysical survey, systematic shovel-testing, and test units to explore areas of interest.  These investigations are taking place as part of a course in public archaeology (ANTH 318/618 Public Archaeology: Theory and Methods) taught by Tony Boudreaux and Maureen Meyers.  For their final project in this course, students will prepare a report on the fieldwork that will be submitted to the University of Mississippi and the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.  The investigations at Rowan Oak are supported by funding from the College of Liberal Arts, the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, and a grant from the Office of Research and Sponsored programs.