The Douglas Jordan Testing, Dating and Conservation Fund

by Mike Raber

FOSA established a fund for radiocarbon dating in 2004, for samples in the collections of the Office of State Archaeology (OSA) and the Connecticut State Museum of Natural History at UConn, including material from OSA excavations.

The fund was named in honor of Douglas F. Jordan following his death in 2006. Dr. Jordan became Connecticut's first State Archaeologist in 1963 and taught Anthropology at the University of Connecticut.

Beginning in 2013, FOSA has been approached by researchers with innovative projects seeking grants for dating. The first of these projects is discussed in the article in the Fall 2015 FOSA Newsletter, a reprint of which can be accessed by clicking Fall.2015, involved dating the Farmington/Pope Mastodon, proposed by Matthew T. Boulanger of the University of Missouri's Department of Anthropology as part of a larger study to refine chronologies of mega-fauna extinctions in the Middle Atlantic and Northeast.

In 2014, FOSA's Board of Directors expanded the fund's potential uses beyond radiocarbon dating, to take advantage of other developing technologies for dating archaeological samples and to allow for special conservation measures needed for items in collections managed by OSA. The fund was then re-named the Douglas Jordan Testing, Dating and Conservation Fund.

Current work supported by the fund includes a project by UConn graduate students (now PhD's) David Leslie and Gabe Hrynick to establish the seasonality of archaeological sites by sampling terminal annual growth rings in soft-shelled clams. Their work, presented in the Fall 2016 FOSA newsletter, a reprint of which can be accessed by clicking Fall.2016, involves identifying stable isotope values in carefully prepared powdered marine shell using a mass spectrometer at the University of Arizona.

Your donations to the fund will allow for continued advances in dating and conserving Connecticut's past.

Editor's Note: There are a number of articles on radiocarbon dating available in this web site. You can most easily get a list of them by accessing the Google Search page, typing radiocarbon into the search criteria textbox, and clicking the "FOSA" key.