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


Upcoming Events

all-day Online Educator Course
Online Educator Course
Feb 11 – Apr 16 all-day
Online Educator Course
What: Online Educator Course When: Beginning February 11, 2019 for eight weeks (4 – 5 self-directed hours/week) Where: ONLINE at your convenience (no set class times) Who: All educators, especially upper elementary teachers (3rd – 6th grades) Cost: $175 Credit: 2[...]
all-day Project Archaeology Leadership A... @ Montana State University
Project Archaeology Leadership A... @ Montana State University
Jun 24 – Jun 28 all-day
Project Archaeology Leadership Academy @ Montana State University
Interested in connecting kids to the past? Do you want to bring engaging, cross-curricular materials that teach cultural understanding to teachers in your schools? Become a leader in cultural heritage education by attending the 10th[...]