In-site-ful Investigation

Bloomsbury - Cara Blume rev4About this important archaeology presentation that is free and open to the public, and a few words on the creation of the poster…

Cara Lee Blume holds a Ph. D. in anthropology from the Catholic University of America. In 2009 she retired from the Delaware Division of Parks and Recreation as cultural heritage program manager. She also served the division as an archaeologist and a historic preservation specialist over the course of a career of more than 35 years. She was also a senior archaeologist (part-time) for Heite Consulting from 1990 to 2005. Her research has focused on the history of the Lenape and Nanticoke tribal communities in Delaware since contact with Europeans, use of the U. S. Census to identify native communities in Delaware, and segregation and the preservation of tribal identity in Delaware.
Dr. Blume’s title for this talk is, “Delaware’s Most Important Site?  The Bloomsbury Site and the Survival of the Lenape People in Delaware” – and we consider it an important wrap-up to Lenape Heritage Month in September, 2018.
The following is from the intro to the Bloomsbury Report:  “This is a report of a house site excavation in Duck Creek Hundred. The house was occupied from circa 1750 to circa 1814 by several tenant households, some of who were members of documented Native American families. Among the discoveries were artifacts, made in the tradition of prehistoric stone tools, but flaked from bottle glass. The presence of this flaked glass, on a site occupied by families with acknowledged Native American connections, demonstrates that Native craft practices survived into the second half of the nineteenth century, far longer than previously documented. The site is significant because it provides part of the long-sought link between today’s local Native American population (known as Lenape) and their prehistoric antecedents.”
Delaware’s Department of Transportation published the Bloomsbury Report, but it has not been widely disseminated. Local Native American groups are supportive of the report, and the following is a page where it may be easily accessed to read:
When I (Steve Cox) designed the poster above, I borrowed images from the Report. At the top are three members of the ASD screening for artifacts at the 1994-1995 excavations. The caption to Plate 14 reads, “Kent County Archaeological Society volunteers on the site:
Linda Horstick, Walker Mifflin, and Dick Gardner.” I know Richard Gardner, and just had to include him in this poster! He and his wife, Audrey Gardner, faithfully attend the Kent County Chapter meetings at the Dover Public Library to this day. The next band on the poster was extracted from a map showing the site location; an arrow points to the word Lenape, very appropriately, I thought. Below that, is a composite illustration of two of the wine bottle artifacts found that were flaked in the traditional manner for use as tools. This is a controversial statement, but I stand by it. At the bottom are some of the many buttons that were found in the course of the digging. Next to them, is a whimsical addition: the SUV that Ned Heite drove.
Archaeologist Edward Heite, who died in 2005, employed Dr. Blume (as stated above). He and his wife, Louise Heite, contributed greatly to the history of Delaware, especially to the story of the native peoples whose story continues to this day as attested by some of the essays and reports they authored that are included in the web site mentioned (

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