‘Hole Lot of Fun

By Green River Preserve

Archaeology has the opportunity to learn from our past. As we study our ancestors, we can learn many things from them. The past two sessions, campers have had the opportunity to do some of their own archaeological digs. With the direction of local archaeologist Martha, campers dig shovel test pits (STP’s) and learn how to place the holes on a map. Each test pit gets sorted into two categories: positive and negative. Positive test pits contain artifacts, which could be flakes, scrapers, or pottery. Negative test pits do not contain any artifacts.

As campers dig their holes, they put their shovel of dirt onto a screen. The screen allows for the dirt to pass through and any artifacts remain on the top. Campers get so excited when things are left on the top. Each camper grabs a rock or a pebble and excitedly asks, “Is this a flake?!” Most of the time, it is a flat rock. However, there have been many finds and each find is as exciting as that cool looking pebble.

It is amazing to see how enthusiastic campers are at participating in what can be seen as a mundane task of digging holes. They are so enthralled by Martha’s knowledge of North Carolina’s past and even mysteries of the past, in general. As we search for flakes and stone tools, we also search for knowledge and stories, and we tend to find those wherever we are at GRP.

Anna Ewing