Thursday, September 28, 2023

Volunteers Wanted for New Quarter Park Archaeological Dig

Archaeologists dig at New Quarter Park. (Submitted)
Archaeologists dig at New Quarter Park. (Submitted)

Citizens looking to get their hands dirty will have the opportunity to assist in an archaeological dig at York County’s New Quarter Park on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Fairfield Foundation archaeologists Dave Brown, Thane Harpole and Anna Hayden will conduct the New Quarter dig, which takes place on an 18th-century slave quarter for Carter’s Grove Plantation.

“Archaeologists have been excavating this area during biannual public archaeology dig days for the past several years,” a news release from York County said. “All digs have been successful, producing a rich treasure of artifacts. The most recent dig last spring discovered a cellar, which will be opened and explored further during this month’s public excavation.”

Volunteers who assist with the dig will learn basic archaeology techniques from Brown, Harpole and Hayden before assisting with the excavation of the site.

Each day features two three-hour sessions, including a morning session from 9 a.m. to noon and an afternoon session from 1 to 4 p.m.

“We have a lot of people who have already signed up,” said Harpole, the co-director of the Fairfield Foundation. “It’s a pretty good opportunity for people who have wanted to visit an archaeology site or try it out.”

Volunteers do not need prior archaeological experience to participate in the dig, which Harpole described as a “controlled environment.” With trained volunteers assisting on the dig, inexperienced volunteers need not worry about disturbing or ruining the dig site.

“There’s a slight risk, but we have our staff members and trained volunteers teaching and working with the volunteers while they are out there,” Harpole said. “We don’t just give people shovels and say, ‘Have fun.'”

Volunteer opportunities are limited, so those interested are encouraged to email and include which session is desired.

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