Contacts: Tom Desjardin, (207) 287-4975
Volunteers Needed for 17th-century Colonial Pemaquid Archaeological Dig
(July 11, 2011)
AUGUSTA, Maine – If you think getting your hands dirty while digging in the ground and looking for old stuff is the perfect way to spend a summer’s day, then the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands (BPL) wants you!
The week-long, annual archaeological dig will be held next week at Colonial Pemaquid State Historic Site in New Harbor, and BPL Park Historian Tom Desjardin is looking for volunteers to dig for colonial historic artifacts.
The archaeological team, led by Leon Cranmer, retired state historic archaeologist, formerly of the Maine Historic Preservation Commission, will focus on a new site at the colonial fishing village, Desjardin said.
“There’s a very inviting dent in the ground in what seems to be a cluster of buildings,” Desjardin noted. “It’s within a few yards of where we have found Native American remains and all kinds of artifacts.”
The details of the dig are:
Colonial Pemaquid State Historic Site annual archaeological dig, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday, July 18-23. Media representatives are invited to visit 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Wednesday, July 20. The public also is invited to visit the site during dig hours.
Once the home of American Indians dating back at least 7,000 years, Colonial Pemaquid is the site of a 17th-century English fishing station and village, and later a British military post and a 19th-century New England farm.
As a state historic site managed by the BPL, under the Maine Department of Conservation, Colonial Pemaquid consists of reconstructed Fort William Henry, representing one of two 17th-century forts located at the site; the federal style Fort House; the foundations of the fishing village; a burial ground; and a museum containing extensive artifacts from the site.
A successful archaeological dig was held last year, with items discovered ranging from embossed pipe bowls to evidence of a kitchen garden fence.
“Everyone was enthusiastic, and we thought we would do it again this year,” Desjardin said. In addition to BPL, the event is being sponsored by the Friends of Colonial Pemaquid, he said.
The new dig site appears promising and looks “very, very clearly like the corner of a foundation,” the park historian said. Colonial Pemaquid is “one of Maine’s most important archaeological sites … and you’re going to find something, whether it’s a piece of pottery or an old foundation,” he predicted.
The team led by Cranmer will consist of Friends members experienced in archaeological digs and volunteers, Desjardin said.
“Anyone interested in archaeology is welcome. We will put them to work,” he said, adding that volunteers must be willing to get their hands dirty and will learn such techniques as using dirt screens and scraping dirt layers in trenches to uncover artifacts.
For more information and to volunteer for the dig, contact Tom Desjardin, historian, Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands, at (207) 287-4975.
For more information on Colonial Pemaquid State Historic Site, go to: www.maine.gov/colonialpemaquid