Friday, April 15, 2005

Summer Field School Offers Forays Into Native American And African-American Archaeology, June 6-July 15

Chestertown, MD, April 14, 2005 — Washington College's Department of Sociology and Anthropology will again offer a Summer Field School in Archaeology from June 6 to July 15, 2005. Taught by archaeologist Dr. John Seidel and staff from the Washington College Public Archaeology Laboratory, the course provides practical experience in field archaeology and will focus on two local projects: the search for Tockwogh, a palisaded Indian village on the Sassafras River, and the excavation of the Charles Sumner Post, a Grand Army of the Republic Lodge established by African-American Civil War veterans in Chestertown.

The eight-credit program—open to both college students and adults—will teach excavation and lab techniques; remote sensing; artifact identification, dating and analysis; and mapping and surveying of archaeological sites using both theodolite and GPS. Hands-on fieldwork will be augmented by lectures and special presentations, laboratory work, and trips to regional sites and museums. “This year's Field School will give students the chance to explore Native American and African-American archaeology,” said Seidel, associate professor of anthropology and environmental studies. “Our first site will be the Charles Sumner Post, a Grand Army of the Republic lodge that served as a focal point for the African-American community in Kent County in the post-Civil War era. Our second objective is to search for the site of Tockwogh, an Indian village described by Captain John Smith on his 1608 voyage of exploration on the Chesapeake Bay.”

Smith described the village as palisaded—or fortified—and was surprised to find that the inhabitants had iron and brass tools, apparently obtained in trade with the Susquehannock Indians to the north, noted Seidel. Students will also have the opportunity to collaborate with a field school run by the University of Maryland on Wye Island. The multiple projects will offer training in a wide variety of activities and techniques.

Interested students are encouraged to apply early. Limited housing on the Washington College campus may be provided on a first-come, first-served basis. The class runs for six weeks, meeting five days a week from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The base of operations is the Washington College Public Archaeology Laboratory in the Custom House. Vans will take students to field sites outside of Chestertown. Tuition is $2,375. Students will register for ANT 296 Sections 10 and 11.

For more information and registration forms, contact Dr. John Seidel at 410-778-7756.

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