Department of Anthropology

Archaeological Studies Seminar: Rachel Feit

Austin Underground: True Tales of Vice, Tragedy, and Recovery in Texas' Capital City

Wed, April 5, 2017 | CLA 1.302D

1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Abstract: "When most people think of Austin, its music, food, and arts culture typically come to mind. Austin’s history…well, not so much; and even less so its archaeology. However the city’s history is filled with all manner of epic social drama, and nowhere does its colorful past come into sharper focus than through archaeology. From its cataclysmic floods and consistently poor infrastructure, to its rowdy red light district and grandiose business schemes, archaeological remains poignantly evoke the individuals and events that shaped the city for nearly two hundred years. This talk focuses on the Austin we no longer see and discusses how the remains underground reflect the values, social organization, and communities past that ultimately shaped the present."

Biography: Rachel Feit is an archaeologist at AmaTerra, an Environmental consulting firm in Austin.  She completed her undergraduate work at the University of Chicago, and her Master’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin. Rachel specializes in historical archaeology, ethnohistory, and urban archeology of nineteenth century. Her research includes among other things, work at an 1830s Mexican era fort East Texas, at the San Jacinto Battlefield, in Houston’s 4th Ward, at an 1870s African American Cemetery near Corsicana, at Cold War Missile Launch Site in Utah, and along a historic railroad in New Mexico.  Rachel is also a freelance writer and regular contributor to the Austin Chronicle and has written for Saveur Magazine and American Archaeology. 

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