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Science on Tap

Community Archaeology in the West Philadelphia Neighborhood of Black Bottom

National Mechanics

Monday, May. 13, 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm ET


A mosaic of a bulldozer tearing down a neighborhood.

Science on Tap is a monthly gathering in Philadelphia that features public discussion on engaging science topics. Held on the second Monday of every month, Science on Tap features a brief, informal presentation by a scientist or other expert followed by lively conversation. The goal is to promote enthusiasm for science in a fun, spirited, and accessible way, while also meeting new people.

Heritage West is a community archaeology project created with the goal of using archaeology to uncover stories of individuals who lived in the Black Bottom neighborhood of West Philadelphia from the 19th century to the present. For four months in 2023, community members and students worked alongside professional archaeologists to excavate artifacts and features that highlight the love, community, and humanity of the Black Bottom neighborhood and recognize the violence of its destruction under the guise of urban renewal.

Co-project director’s Dr. Sarah Linn and Dr. Megan Kassabaum will discuss the early stages of project planning, the 2023 excavation season, collaborative lab work undertaken in 2024, and current efforts to share the recovered stories widely.

This lecture will be held at National Mechanics, 22 S. 3rd St., Philadelphia, PA. Tickets are not required for this event, and seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

About the Speakers

Sarah Linn, Ph.D.

Sarah Linn, Ph.D.

Sarah Linn, Ph.D., is the Assistant Director of the Academic Engagement Department. Her work centers on supporting student research in the Museum and making archaeological and anthropological research accessible to the public. Dr. Linn has co- curated two exhibitions at the Penn Museum, Invisible Beauty: The Art of Archaeological Science and The Stories We Wear.

Megan C. Kassabaum, Ph.D.

Megan C. Kassabaum, Ph.D.

Megan C. Kassabaum, Ph.D., is Weingarten Assistant Curator of the American Section and Assistant Professor of Anthropology. She is an anthropological archaeologist with research interests in public and museum archaeology, archaeology of Philadelphia, pre- contact Native American archaeology of the Eastern United States, monument construction and communal ritual, foodways, and ceramic technology. She is committed to making the archaeology of these topics more accessible to the public.