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Students participated in the professional excavation of an archaeological site in Keene, NH. The dig in Keene is investigating an 18th century home and a colonial inn and tavern, known as the Wyman Tavern, and students learned techniques and skills involved in unearthing an historical site.

Excavation Results

Carter and Joseph excavate a shovel test pit. These are half-meter square pits used to determine where to make a larger, more controlled excavation. The boys here have just uncovered the scapula of an ungulate.  They also found a tooth that is probably from the same animal.

Most of our test pits yielded broken ceramics and glassware. The second pictures shows Joseph reaching way down into his test pit! Dirt is removed carefully with trowels, and a whisk broom is used to expose larger finds.  Students learned to map the pit walls and take careful notes about soil color and texture.

archaelogical test pits

These next shots show us working to piece together broken glassware taken from the Wyman Tavern site.  Students sorted pieces by color and thickness, then tried to piece them together in the basement lab at the Historical Society of Cheshire County. We were able to match up quite a bit.  Our excavations also yielded two intact bottles.

sorting glass and clay pieces


Posted by HMS on Thursday May 15 at 07:31PM
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Museum, Then Lake

During our visit to the Mt. Kearsage Indian Musium in Warner NH, Christoph poses for effect in front of an Indian headdress.

Later, the group enjoyed a little R and R at Wendy's house on Lake Contoocook. Carter and Joseph enjoyed the tranquil waters. We have seen geese and ducks, and heard (but not seen) loons.

Posted by HMS on Tuesday May 13
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Learning About Archaeological Excavation

The first few days at the site in Keene were spent learning some basic techniques. Sam and Carter learn how to write field notes. Joseph excavates a test pit as Carter uses a sieve.

Archaeologist Becky helps identify items from these pits, finding mostly 18th and 19th century ceramics, nails, and other hardware. Our most exciting finds so far include an intact bottle, a clay marble and parts of a ceramic pipe.  

Our excavated pits are deep! 

students learn about excavations at the archaeological site in Keene NH

Posted by HMS on Thursday May 8 at 01:33PM
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