The Archaeological Society of Delaware Sussex Chapter will present its Speaker Series Winter Session from 7 to 9 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 17, at the Lewes Historical Society Schoolhouse. Speakers Wade Catts and Dan Parsons will present "The Cemetery at Batchelors Lott: The Oak Orchard Project."
During the course of a Sussex County sewer expansion project, a previously unrecorded cemetery was discovered beneath River Road in Oak Orchard. This presentation provides an overview of the Oak Orchard project, illustrating the methods, procedures, analyses and challenges of the project. More importantly, the study of the cemetery has resulted in a wealth of historical and archeological information gathered about the area and conditions of life during the Colonial period in southeastern Delaware. Principal Archaeologist Wade Catts and Sussex County Historic Preservation Planner Dan Parsons will recount the series of events, the large number of groups involved and outcomes of the project.
Parsons is the Sussex County Historic Preservation planner and records manager, responsible for determining the county's relative cultural and historic resources as well as managing and organizing records material generated by certain county departments. Prior to his work in Sussex, he was curator and folklorist for the Ward Museum of Waterfowl Art, responsible for publications and exhibitions, and all public programs dealing with the traditional arts and heritage of the Eastern Shore of Maryland. He has a BA in history from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, and a BA in communications and an MA in environmental history from Salisbury University. His research encompasses the history and culture of local maritime communities, and he is committed to education about Delmarva communities and customs.
Catts is an associate director with John Milner Associates Inc., a historic preservation consulting firm based in West Chester, Pa. He holds an undergraduate degree in anthropology/history and a master’s degree in American history from the University of Delaware. Prior to joining JMA in 1993, Catts was employed for more than a decade as an archaeologist and research historian at a University of Delaware-based consulting division that focused its research efforts on the history and prehistory of the Delmarva Peninsula. He is a registered professional archaeologist, a member of national and regional professional archaeological organizations, president-elect to the American Cultural Resources Association, former member of the New Castle County Preservation Review Board, current board member of the Delaware Military Heritage and Education Foundation, and a member of the Company of Military Historians. His research interests include the history of farmsteads and agricultural landscapes, conflict archeology, environmental history, African-American studies, and Middle Atlantic regional history and historic preservation.
The public is welcome. The ASD is an open group, and the society invites new membership.