Sunday, June 11, 2017

First Week of Field School

Monday marked our first day of field school! Although it was a dismal June day, we still managed to get out  to introduce the students to basic excavation techniques. Digging through (many) roots and topsoil was a great start for the school and the 8 students that will be participating for the next two weeks.
As Tuesday was too wet to excavate, the students spent their time washing artifacts from last year and learning about Penhallow’s architectural history with John Schnitzler, the museum’s restoration carpenter.
Students washing  artifacts
The upstairs parlor of Penhallow
Wallpaper from the upstairs saltbox addition in Penhallow
Thursday and Friday- Digging continued due to the agreeable weather, and the students almost reached the end of the topsoil layer. Once this layer is completed we can begin on dating artifacts before the 21st century.
Alix Martin speaking to a field trip group about the excavation.

Students using both a trowel and shovel-shaving technique

Meet our field school students!
Jenny Nathans: I work full-time at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. I majored in psychology and sociology at Brandeis University and received my Masters in Social Work at Boston University. I have volunteered on a few digs in Boston and am interested in learning more about archaeology. I am fascinated by the idea that just under my feet there could be evidence of how previous generations of people lived. It's the closest thing we can do to time travel! 
W. Huston Chabot: I am a Brandeis University student and have always been interested in history and would like to have history as my major. For all of my summers I have lived on the Seacoast and visited all of the historical houses including the Strawbery Banke Musuem. I feel privileged to attend archaeology field school and witness history at its earliest beginnings in colonial life. Archaeology field school allows me to further my interest in history as I unearth artifacts from years ago.
Nicholas Day: I am a sophomore at Spaulding High school. I play football, track and am captain of the varsity soccer team. My hobbies are fishing, hiking, cooking, coaching, volunteer work and reading. I took this field school because colleges like to see some field work already completed.
Callie Pray: I attend the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, and I'm currently pursuing a dual degree in archaeology and history. I'm a committee member of the Archaeology Society there as well as a public outreach volunteer society. I'm visiting home for the summer, and while it is required of me to conduct a minimum of 3 weeks of fieldwork during the summer for my studies, I'm looking forward to being part of this team in June. I've already done archaeological and historical work in my hometown of Exeter, and I'm very excited to further educate myself on field techniques and the history of the area where I grew up. 
Anastasia Guerrero: I am going to be a senior at Hood College in Frederick, I'm majoring in archaeology and history. I fell in love with archaeology because of the stories the artifacts can tell about cultures. A fun fact about me is that although I'm technically studying classical archaeology, I'm working on an honors thesis focusing on the Andes. 
Riley Kenney: I am currently studying at the University of New Hampshire with a major in Anthropology and a minor in Business Administration. In the past semester I have switched my major from English to Anthropology after discovering the practice through an introductory Anthropology class last year. I am very interested in applied anthropology as well as cultural anthropology. I am hoping to experience what real archaeological work is like in the field school and gain some hands on experience.
Rebecca Marisseau: I am a graduate student in history at Brown University. I am interested in archaeology because it helps us preserve the history that was not written down. This will be my second time participating in the Archaeology Field School at Strawbery Banke. During my first field school, I helped excavate the Chase House site. My time at Strawbery Banke inspired me to pursue a career as an historian of early American material culture. I am excited to be back! 
Mary Casey: I will be a senior at Gettysburg College in Gettysburg, PA, this fall of 2017! I am majoring in Anthropology, and minoring in both History and Educational Studies. I was born in Portsmouth, NH, and have lived in New Hampshire for the majority of my young life, so having a connection with Strawbery Banke is special to me! I interned with the Horticulture Department at SBM last summer, and was so excited to get to watch the Field School students dig and wash the artifacts they unearthed. I was introduced to Archaeology and Physical Anthropology during my sophomore year, and wanted to gain field experience because I was, and still am, interested in what an archaeologist does.

~Aside from excavation techniques, the field school students will be learning artifact identification, public engagement strategies for museum visitors, lab techniques- such as washing and cataloging- and further information about the site’s history.~

Feel free to visit us during museum hours and ask questions about this summer’s dig, weekdays 10-12 and 1-3:30!

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