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Past Events

Lecture on “Archaeology In Raleigh, NC” by John Clauser

when: Oct. 10, 2013

As a follow up to last year’s lecture on the archaeology at St. Mary’s and Hargett Streets in Raleigh, JLMH was delighted to present a lecture on “Archaeology In Raleigh, NC” by John Clauser on Thursday, October 10, 2013 at 7 pm at the Visitors Center of the Joel Lane Museum House at 160 South Saint Mary’s Street, Raleigh, NC 27603. Admission was $15 for the general public and $10 for members of the Joel Lane Historical Society. Refreshments were served. Seating was limited, and advanced payment was required. Please call 919-833-3431 with your MasterCard or Visa, mail a check to P O Box 10884, Raleigh NC 27605, or purchase a ticket on line at by clicking here: Raleigh Archaeology Lecture Tickets. Be sure to include the names of all in your party; nametags will serve as tickets. Tickets are non-refundable unless we must cancel the event.

John Clauser discussed various types of archaeological sites excavated in Raleigh over the past 30 years. One doesn’t have to travel very far to find archaeological sites – across town may do.

John is a consulting archaeologist and cemetery specialist whose consulting firm, Of Grave Concerns, has considerable experience excavating old North Carolina cemeteries. John knows where the bodies are buried in North Carolina. As an archaeologist who specializes in abandoned cemeteries, he has tromped through family burial grounds, graveyards dedicated to Confederate veterans and tiny plots alongside rural churches around the state. When he started two decades ago, the work was obscure and the rewards limited. Most of the time, he helped amateur genealogists track down their ancestors as part of his work with the state archaeologist’s office. Now retired, Clauser continues his work as a private consultant. Most of his clients are developers who have stumbled onto a long-abandoned family cemetery while building a new shopping mall or subdivision.

Clauser never planned to be an archaeologist. As the son of a steel mill executive in Bethlehem, Pa., he assumed as a young man that he would follow in his father’s footsteps right through the door at Bethlehem Steel. But when he was 16, his mother died after a months-long illness. His father died six months later of a heart attack. Already a bit of a loner, Clauser went even further adrift. He flunked out of Syracuse University, joined the Navy and served during the Vietnam War. The summer after he came back, he signed up as a laborer on an archaeological dig in Bethlehem.

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What visitors say

Thank you so much for leading us on a guided tour of the Joel Lane House! I had no idea that the kitchen was separate from the main house, and how different the two are. I had always assumed that the most dangerous job for a slave was in the fields, but your expertise showed me that the kitchen (because of the heat and potential for fire) was actually the most dangerous for a slave woman…