Unearth local history with DRA’s Archaeological Field School

Posted:  Sunday, June 3, 2018 - 8:45am

There’s nothing like exploring the physical artifacts of another era to bring us closer to our past. There’s also a real excitement that comes with unearthing artifacts that have not seen the light of day for hundreds of years.

For students considering a career in archaeology, or anyone who has ever been interested in archaeology, Damariscotta River Association (DRA) is offering three week-long sessions of Archaeological Field School this July. The field school provides a unique opportunity to learn basic field methodology skills while working side by side with professional archaeologist Tim Dinsmore.

Three six-day sessions running from Sunday through Friday will take place between July 8 and July 27. The minimum age to attend is 14. Past field school sessions have included a wide range of age and experience, from high school age students to retirees, from first-timers to seasoned excavators and up-and-coming archaeologists.

This year’s excavation is of at the Hatch Homestead site (1769-1803), part of the 18th-century Barstow-Bryant shipbuilding complex. The area of focus is believed to have been Hatch’s blacksmith shop and has been virtually untouched for two centuries.

The Hatch site, located atop the riverbank on the Damariscotta River and overlooking what would have been the shipyard, has remained untouched since last occupied in 1803. As such, it represents a time capsule for which to study the early maritime history of the Damariscotta region.

Archaeological priorities at the Hatch site include determining the layout and orientation of the homestead as well as locating blacksmithing activities including Hatch's blacksmith shop.

For more information or to register, call 207-563-1393, email dra@damariscottariver.org, or visit http://www.damariscottariver.org/events-programs/archaeology-field-school/.