Archaeology Blog

Field School Week 2

by Alaina Foster

These past weeks at Poplar Forest have been exciting ones!  The field school students were introduced to archaeological field methods and excavation techniques for digging this fun Piedmont clay.

First things first, teach them how to dig!

Then help them understand and work with the different layers of soil and find features and map them.

Then photograph your hard work for later use during lab analysis.

Along with all the digging, during the first few days each week, the students attended lectures given by our staff.  The lectures connect things they need to know for our site and what they encounter during excavations.  Lecture topics included: History of Poplar Forest, Soil Layers, Artifacts, Plantation Life, and Public Archaeology.  Public interaction is a big part of archaeology here at Poplar Forest and the students got to see firsthand how important it is because this past weekend we celebrated Juneteenth.

We were able to welcome and interact with the community during the event. For the celebration we set up different areas for visitors to interact with the students and archaeologist so they could ask questions and understand the purpose and benefits of our current project.

The students also started their work in the lab cleaning artifacts and cataloging them.

During these first couple weeks the students have learned a lot and we have uncovered many new and interesting artifacts thanks to their hard work.  Stay tuned for next weeks update to see what we discover!