The Archaeology of Morris Cohen: A Jewish Farmer’s Victory over a Groundhog in Nineteenth-Century Green Brook, New Jersey
Excavations at the Vermeule-Mundy House uncovered a rich artifact deposit dating to the mid-1860s. The artifacts can be associated with Morris Cohen, an early Jewish farmer to settle in rural New Jersey, where he raised a family, a range of animals, and grains, and produced a large amount of butter. In an effort to deter a groundhog from burrowing under their porch, the Cohens placed hundreds of ceramic, glass, and iron objects into the burrow. These artifacts provide information about their table settings and agricultural production, and they may provide details about Cohen’s socioeconomic status as well as his Jewish ethnicity through the use of multiple ceramic and glass sets as well as a preference for olive oil.
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