Anthropologist Ben Ford spoke to the California University of Pennsylvania (Gamma Chapter of Pennsylvania) Lambda Alpha National Anthropology Honor Society on May 2, 2013.
Lambda Alpha is the international honors society for students of anthropology. The name Lambda Alpha comes from the initial letters of the Greek words logos anthropou, meaning the “study of man.” The society was originally founded with the purpose of encouraging scholarship and research in anthropology. Lambda Alpha has grown to include more than 170 chapters.
Ford delivered the evening’s keynote lecture and discussed his ongoing work searching for War of 1812 shipwrecks in Lake Ontario.
During the War of 1812, American and British shipbuilders at Sackets Harbor and Kingston produced more than 20 warships for use on Lake Ontario, some carrying more than 100 cannons. But with the end of the war, these ships no longer had a purpose. Some were sold, some were scrapped, some wrecked, and some sank at anchor. Ford’s talk discussed the fates of the fleets, summarizing those that have been lost, those that have been found, and those yet to be found. He also discussed recent interdisciplinary work to identify two of them in New York’s Black River Bay. The Black River Bay survey combined archaeological and geophysical techniques in an attempt to identify the remains of an armed barge and the frigate Mohawk.
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