|Hard at work, hoping for some cool finds|
|Sifting the dirt pulled from the digging site|
|Musket ball and belt buckle|
The staff working the site were friendly and enthusiastic about the kids helping with the dig. The process is fairly simple but methodical: the choice of a plot, careful digging with small tools so as not to damage artifacts, sifting the buckets of dirt lifted from the individual plots through fine screens, then laying their finds out on trays for inspection.
|I see ... artifacts!|
|Digging with the bell tower in the background|
|Moss-covered brick, all that remains of the town|
Click on the various photos here to see our actual finds more closely. The blue tray displays items found by my oldest daughter and second-oldest son, while the ball and buckle on the left were found by one of the other children on our field trip. That beautiful fragment of porcelain is my favorite! There's also a piece of iron (not sure what that was from, maybe the bit from a horse's bridle or a tool?), broken glass, a section of clay pipe stem, and the ubiquitous fragments of brick.
Late April in Charleston is already bright and hot, as you can see by the scrunching of the kids' faces. Still, they were very into it, which was a good thing, since I was doing this vicariously through them. :-) (I still had littles to watch while the older ones played, er, dug in the dirt.)
I'm not sure whether the park still does this or not, but they used to have Saturday digs open to the public, with participation welcomed by any and all who care to come check it out. We'd always intended to go back for the digs but never made it on those days. Still, it remained a favorite place for quick family outings.
My daughter managed a few shots on one such trip, back in 2012, of the exposed house foundations open for viewing at the site. I'm always astonished at how small the rooms were in colonial homes. Of course, even the wealthy of that time owned far less "stuff" than we moderns.
|Outlines of the house foundation, pictured above|
I'm also struck by the contrast this beautiful, tranquil place must be to the bustling town that once was. I've itched to go back and participate in a dig for myself, to experience the thrill of unearthing those fragments of tangible history.
Photo credits: Breanna McNear