Saturday, March 21, 2009

While The Boys Are Away...

Jim and Pete are off conferencing in Ocean City. I am sure they are not enjoying the frigidly cold temperatures and the brisk ocean breezes. The weather isn't much better back here in northwest Ohio but I have a task to accomplish that brightens my day...internship application review.

Thanks to our Preserve America grant the Port Tobacco Archaeological Project can have a great summer internship program this year. Some of our readers and volunteers may recall that we had two interns in the field with us during last summer's ASM field session. These students were from Stevenson University, near Baltimore. Jim teaches at Stevenson so he got to select the interns last summer. This summer it is my turn and the interns will come from my institution, Heidelberg University, near Toledo.

This summer's internship will be much more intensive than last summer as the interns will be living at Port Tobacco for 5 weeks while conducting fieldwork. Heidelberg will once again provide us with a van for transportation but the 9 hour drive is not one we want to make several times over the summer.

So today I am working on a summer fieldwork schedule and trying to see just how many interns we can accommodate in our budget. Internships are a crucial aspect of professional training for archaeology students. While many internships are available, most are unpaid. By offering paid internships we are giving upper level undergraduates their first paid job in their chosen field. That is worth more than the paycheck itself.

Plan to come out and work alongside our interns this summer. The applicants are all worthy of this opportunity once you meet them I am sure you would agree.


Friday, March 20, 2009

Hobnobbing with Fellow Wizards

Pete and I are off to Ocean City, Maryland, tomorrow to participate in the annual Middle Atlantic Archaeology Conference. Between us we will present three papers on archaeological investigations at:
  1. Lucy Henson site, an early 20th-century African American domestic site in Prince George's County (joint paper);
  2. Antietam Battlefield (me); and
  3. Port Tobacco (Pete).
We look forward to coming back with new perspectives.


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Interview with a Principle

Jim is a difficult man to catch up with these days. Between Port Tobacco and his many other projects, he is flittering from one site to another, with his head in the ground, often smelling and tasting the soil. We saw much evidence of this in Port Tobacco last week. It kind of makes you wonder what kind of man this Dr. Gibb is.

I was able to catch up to Jim last week and he granted me a rare interview:

Jim, what do you love to do most of all?

Where do you like to do it?
Port Tobacco

What is it about archaeology you like most?

What is your favorite drink?
Funny you should ask. I have traveled the world sampling the finest wines, beers, and liquors. Some might think a fine Italian or French wine would be most pleasing to my pallet. Wrong. The finest is 10 oz. Budweiser in a can!

There you have it folks!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A Biased View of a "Site"

Last Wednesday the PTAP crew was in the woods to survey a Union encampment site. Jim and Scott worked mostly on mapping and a metal detector survey, with Steve, while Pete and I supervised a shovel test pit survey. We dug 74 STPs at 50 foot intervals and came up with 2 rather undiagnostic pieces of metal, one or two pieces of historic ceramic, and several prehistoric stone flakes (lithics). On Thursday I took the Heidelberg crew to Point Lookout and Saint Mary's while Scott and Pete finished up the metal detector survey.

I brought all the encampment artifacts back to Heidelberg with me and looked through the collection yesterday. While the artifacts recovered from the STP survey could fit in a 6 oz cup those from the metal detector survey can fill a gallon jug or more. It just goes to show you that different sites require different techniques. Based on the STP survey alone there is little evidence of a Union encampment. Based on the metal detector survey there is a Civil War site there.


Sunday, March 15, 2009

PTAP on Facebook

Weeks ago Pete suggested that we start a Port Tobacco Archaeological Project group on Facebook. I just got around to creating it this morning. If you are on Facebook, look us up and join. I've put some of our better photos and some videos up on our page and with Pete's help we will try to keep the "recent news" current.


Photos from the March Campaign

Amanda gets into the exhibit during setup of Remembering Lincoln.

Bethany, Carol, and Carolyn finish up a shovel test pit at the Union encampment.

Mr. Rob Jones explains the fort at Point Lookout State Park.

The Heidelberg students at the Point Lookout monument outside of the park.

Pete, Theresa, and Magen work on a shovel test pit in the village green.

Jim, Elsie, and Carolyn work on a shovel test pit in the village green.