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Archives For June 2013

From: http://www.postandcourier.com/article/20130621/PC16/130629861/1177/my-charleston-today-college-of-charleston-students-digging-history-at-dorchester-state-park

In today’s My Charleston Today webcast, Warren Peper takes us to Dorchester State Park, where College of Charleston students are digging up history in an outdoor classroom.

My Charleston Today is a daily webcast presented Monday through Friday by P&C TV exclusively on postandcourier.com.

June 18, 2013

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The College of Charleston’s summer 2013 Archaeological Field School, offered in conjunction with the Charleston Museum and the South Carolina State Parks and Recreation Department, is currently in session. Students will work on three very different sites during the seven-week field school.

Archaeology students spent the first four weeks investigating the area of a slave settlement at Hampton Plantation State Historic Site north of McClellanville.

The last three weeks (through June 28) the student crew will rotate between Colonial Dorchester State Historic Site in Summerville where they are looking for the foundation of the St. George Parish Church, and the Lord Ashley site, the location of English Lord Proprietor Anthony Ashley Cooper’s early trading post, located on private property in Dorchester County. Watch a video from an earlier dig at this site. The crews are working from 8:30 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. and the public is invited to watch. At Colonial Dorchester the following entrance fees are required: $2 for ages 15 and up, $1.25 for S.C. senior citizens, and free for children under 14.

Students are learning the skills and techniques that will prepare them to work as archaeological technicians in the contract archaeology field and/or to attend graduate school in archaeology, historic preservation, or another related field.

“Our archaeology program is very strong, and many former students have gone on to attain professional jobs or have been accepted into graduate school,” says Dr. Barbara Borg, Associate Professor of Anthropology and one of the team teachers of the archaeological field school. “We are thrilled to begin offering a new archaeology major in Fall 2013 that can be combined with several other traditional majors. Our field school is only one of several options a student can choose to complete the Capstone requirement for an archaeology major or minor.”

The team-taught eight-credit field school meets the Register of Professional Archaeologists’ standards, providing students with systematic in-depth training in all phases of basic archaeological field research including surface survey, shovel testing, excavation, mapping, photography, data interpretation, and artifact processing and analysis. In addition to putting in seven-hour days in the field, students complete a strong academic component consisting of hands-on identification of ceramics, a selection of readings and professional journal articles, a final written project, and a final exam. Upon completion of the Field School, students often participate in one or more hands-on archaeological internships with the Charleston Museum, Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site, Colonial Dorchester State Historic Site, and/or the H.L. Hunley Project.

“SCPRT Archaeologist David Jones, and other members of his staff, have worked diligently to assure that our students have had a wonderful educational experience on some very exceptional archaeological sites,” Borg notes. “Also, crucial support received from MWV (MeadWestvaco Corporation), the Historic Charleston Foundation, and the private landowners has again made it possible for the field school to work at the Lord Ashley site.”

For more information about the field school, contact Dr. Barbara Borg at borgb@cofc.edu.

For more information on Colonial Dorchester State Historic Site, contact SCPRT archaeologist Larry James at ljames@scprt.com.

For more information on the Lord Ashley excavations contact Andrew Agha, also a State Park Service archaeologist, at Ctla707@yahoo.com.

College of Charleston sophomore Jami Baxley is the only student participating in an archaeological project in Greece during the 2013 summer months. She will join two College of Charleston professors and other researchers for a month in Greece collecting archaeological data on more than 1,400 objects from the ancient Palace of Nestor in Pylos. Over the next year, the team, led by Classics Professor Kevin Pluta and Dimitri Nakassis of the University of Toronto, will compile a traditional print volume and a searchable online database of their findings. Jim Newhard, College of Charleston Professor and Director of the Archaeology Program, will also be a researcher on the project.

“I am absolutely thrilled to accompany two of my professors on this project in which I will gain hands on experience that will directly relate to my career aspirations,” says Baxley, a classics and archaeology major from Beech Island, S.C. “Being the only student is a bit nerve-racking (and exciting!), but I am ready for the challenge and look forward to all I will learn.”

The project will document via Reflexive Transference Imagery (RTI), 3D imagery, X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF), and traditional illustration the administrative archives of the Palace of Nestor at Pylos, Greece. The publication and corresponding spatial database would effectively compile the scholarship of several generations of Linear B scholars into a concise, organized system, useable by scholars, students, and interested lay communities; and expand use of this dataset to broader cross-cultural comparative applications.

The online database, in development at the College of Charleston, will be searchable by tablet, fragment, word, or geochemical signature. The documentation via multiple imaging formats will also provide an archiving component to a valuable dataset that is of a fragile nature. The final images and data will reside at the College of Charleston on a dedicated server.

“This project is an excellent example of the ways in which the expertise and research of the faculty are leveraged for high impact experiences for students, while at the same time moving the discipline of archaeology forward in exciting ways,” explains Jim Newhard, Classics professor and incoming director of the archaeology program. “I am looking forward to seeing this collaboration develop for the benefit of all the cooperating institutions, researchers, and students.”

The project currently has funding from the Loeb Classical Library Foundation, the Institute for Aegean Prehistory, the Michael Ventris Foundation, and the College of Charleston.

For more information, contact Jim Newhard at newhardj@cofc.edu.

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