1997 Excavation at Madame John's Legacy by Shannon Dawdy and GNOAP/UNO

In 1997, Dr. Shannon Dawdy directed the second series of excavations at Madame John’s Legacy under the auspices of the Greater New Orleans Archaeological Program, a state program then based at the University of New Orleans. These investigations focused entirely upon areas e exterior of the primary structure and planned to mitigate impacts to archaeological resources in the rear courtyard associated with the installation of a new air conditioning system. This project was planned in part to comply with Louisiana’s Archaeological Resources Act (R.S. 41:1606), which mandates that significant archaeological remains on a state-owned property be considered during work that might negatively impact them.

Most of the images here are scanned from 35 mm slides taken for use in public presentations. In a very short period of time, digital photography has revolutionized the way that archaeologists can document objects recovered on excavations, in that now thousands of photographs of finds can be taken very quickly. However, at the same time, these innovations in photography generate new issues, as digital formats change rapidly, and the space to archive large bodies of data and guarantee that it is available in perpetuity itself can become a problem.