• Name: Paul McLerran
  • Locations:Virginia, United States
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Sunday, May 28, 2006

Dig Spotlight: Investigating a Major Colonial Fortress

If you are a colonial history or historical archaeology enthusiast and you picture yourself excavating this summer in cooler climes, the beauty and ruggedness of Nova Scotia might be your cup of tea. At Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Parks Canada will be conducting continuing archaeological investigations at the site of the historic Fortress of Louisbourg. Originally founded as a French settlement in 1713, it was fortified in the 1730's, besieged twice by New Englanders and the British, and then destroyed and abandoned by the British in the 1760's. Extensive archaeological excavations and historical research have resulted in partial reconstruction of the Fortress, the fortified town and its defensive walls. It is considered to be the largest reconstruction project in North America.

The 2006 season will concentrate on the De la Valliere property, which was occupied by French, British and New Englanders between 1720 and 1758. The program will entail two 5-day field sessions in early to mid August. Participants will excavate a portion of the De la Valliere property, learn about archaeological field techniques, and attend presentations addressing current historical research at the Fortress. There will also be opportunities to experience the rest of Fortress Louisbourg and explore the rugged Cape Breton landscape and coastline.

If you are interested in volunteering, see the website for additional information.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

The Archaeology Channel: An Educational Adventure at Home

If an archaeological dig or tour is not in the cards for you right now, you can still enjoy the moving visual experience of archaeological discovery by going to a unique program site on the web that is specifically designed for the archaeology enthusiast. Entitled "The Archaeology Channel", it may give one the initial impression that it is a tv channel devoted to archaeological subjects, as the The History Channel is to subjects historical. It is not a tv channel. It is, however, an impressive collection of videos you can view via your computer on a variety archaeological subjects, some of which are sure to pique your interest. Go to the website and give it a try.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Dig Spotlight: Excavating a Roman Fort in Spain

Menorca, Spain: Located in the picturesque natural reserve of the Ecomuseum de Cap de Cavalleria, the remains of an ancient Roman fort established in 123 B.C. beckons archaeologists and volunteers to excavate and document during the summer and on through to the end of October in 2006. Divided into five one-month sessions, the project calls for students and volunteers to learn excavation techniques and process and record of artifacts. They will also attend lectures about methodology and Roman archaeology, and visit other archaeological sites in the area. Investigations will focus on the buildings and artifacts associated with the soldiers' stockrooms and living quarters.

An added attraction for this excavation is its maritime location hugging the Mediterranean near the town of Ciutadella, which is described as "an enchanting Mediterranean town, lively with caf├ęs and outdoor terraces hidden among narrow cobble stone streets".

If you are interested in participating in this excavation, see the website for more details.