The volunteers of BRAVO, a nonprofit organization, work to promote public interest in history and archaeology in conjunction with the New Jersey Division of Parks and Forestry, State Park Service. BRAVO's purpose is to preserve, publicize, and enhance New Jersey's cultural heritage, from prehistory to the recent past, with an emphasis on our Revolutionary War heritage.
Through archaeological digs, metal detecting surveys, and occasionally other geophysical subsurface surveys, BRAVO members locate and excavate prehistoric and historic artifacts and cultural features.
The locations of all artifacts excavated are measured using A Trimble 5600 total station laser transit with a Ranger 500 field computer data collector. This data and the artifact analysis information are entered into a database program called Artitrak which was developed by Dan Sivilich. The Artitrak file is linked to ArcView Geographical Information Software (GIS) and the artifacts are plotted on high resolution aerial photos, grouped by artifact type. Analysis of the information, coupled with review of historical records, enables us to determine battle lines, encampment sites, historic homesteads and prehistoric campsites.
Artifacts are cleaned and catalogued and, in the case of some sensitive artifacts, may be professionally conserved as well. Many of the artifacts excavated by BRAVO members are displayed in museums at the sites where they were found. Monmouth Battlefield State Park has a large museum incorporating hundreds of artifacts excavated including from Prehistoric Native American, Revolutionary War and Civil War time periods
Approximately four of BRAVO's monthly meetings include speakers who present slide lectures of relevant information and/or interpretation of archaeological and historical data. BRAVO also gives presentations to historical societies, , patriotic organizations, or any other group interested in New Jersey's heritage. Depending on the time and location, a nominal honorarium may be requested.
BRAVO has been designated as the only Officially Recognized Friends Organization (ORFO) for the entire New Jersey Division of Parks and Forestry, State Park Service, however Monmouth Battlefield State Park is our home base.