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Kansas Archeology Training Program Field School

KATP 2021 Location Announcement – Brown v Board of Education National Historic Site

Shawnee County - June 4 to June 20, 2021

The Kansas Historical Society and the Kansas Anthropological Association will hold the annual Kansas Archeology Training Program (KATP) field school at Brown v Board of Education National Historic Site, in Topeka, and will partner with the park and the National Park Service’s Midwest Archeological Center (MWAC). The park includes the Monroe Elementary School and commemorates the 1954 Supreme Court’s decision to end legal segregation in the United States. This was a landmark victory for civil rights in America and helped to inspire the American Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 60s. The National Historic Site is the location of the Monroe Elementary School (built 1927) and the former location of the Monroe School (built 1874). Both schools were constructed as segregated schools for Black children, one of four in Topeka, until the 1954 court decision.

The goal of the 2021 KATP is to expand our knowledge of the early life of the Monroe School property from when it was purchased by John Ritchie in 1855 and up to the time when the current Monroe Elementary School was built. The field school will be an opportunity to explore some of the structures buried on the property that once stood near the earlier Monroe School. The park has little information regarding the preservation of these structures and using archeology we hope to better understand the lives of people living in the Monroe School neighborhood. This project will help tell the story of the crucial time between the Civil War and the Civil Rights eras that had such a profound impact on people’s lives throughout the country. When people visit the site, many are unaware or understand the full history of the Monroe School property prior to the 1954 Brown v. Board decision. Research goals will be shaped by input from the National Park Service and will assist them in telling more of that story and learn more about the community that surrounded this school.

The annual KATP field school is an opportunity for the public to work alongside professional and avocational archeologists in finding and excavating archeological sites and processing the resulting artifacts in the lab. No experience is necessary—just a desire to learn. Volunteers can attend for a few days or the entire 17 days of the field school. Participants must be at least 12 years old and children aged 12-17 must be accompanied by a parent or responsible adult. Classroom courses on archeology are also offered. Artifacts found at the site will be processed in the archeology laboratory at the Kansas Historical Society.

The registration fee for members of the Kansas Historical Society and the Kansas Anthropological Association is $35 for standard participants, $25 for participants 65 or older, $15 for all students currently enrolled at a middle school, high school, or college. The nonmember fee is $90.

Registration will be available online through this page from April 1 to June 1, 2021. Registration is limited based on activity on a day-by-day basis.

A full schedule of evening programs will be held in Topeka; admission to the programs is free and open to the public. A tentative schedule of programs will be posted online.

The Kansas Historical Society does not discriminate on the basis of disability in admission to, access to, or operation of its programs. The Historical Society requests prior notification to accommodate individuals with special needs or disabilities.

**Due to the current public health crisis, the KATP field school is subject to cancellation. This decision will be made prior to the opening of registration on April 1st**

For more information contact Kansas Historical Society archeologists Nikki Klarmann or Tricia Waggoner, kshs.archeologyoutreach@ks.gov; 785-272-8681, ext. 266 or 267.