Kentucky Shotgun House
Project Archaeology: Investigating Shelter “Investigating a Shotgun House”
Discover the past through evidence from a mid-20th century archaeological site at Davis Bottom, a multiracial, urban, working-class neighborhood in Lexington, Kentucky! In this investigation, students will use geography, history, and archaeology to learn about a Kentucky shotgun house and the people who lived in it.
Examine historic photographs, primary documents, artifacts, and maps of a Shotgun House shelter. Students meet Kenny Demus and the Laffoon sisters – Cissy and Mary – who grew up in rented shotgun houses, by reading their biographies. Then they “uncover” a real archaeological site, classify artifacts, study the contents of a privy, and infer how Lexington’s urban geography influenced the neighborhood and its future.
Explore the history of Lexington’s working class, the meaning of neighborhood, and the definition of family. Engage students in a debate on a current civic dilemma involving archaeology and preservation, and the stereotypes we hold about the working poor.
- Includes texts about neighborhood history, using primary documents, investigating and
interpreting privy deposits, and seeking justice for those displaced by urban development
- Supports Common Core State Standards
- Incorporates authentic data for students to analyze