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Holding History in My Hands

By Emma Coffey

When I first heard that Historic Sandusky would have an archaeological dig, I was so excited. During this last school semester, I was part of an archaeological lab class which taught me various things that helped me when taking part in the dig. Some of the things that I learned in the class was how to identify different bones and other artifacts. When I was able to participate in the dig, I would mostly help out with screening through the dirt that was dug up early in the excavation process. The screening allowed me to use the things that I learned during the archaeology class because I found plenty of bones, shards of glass and ceramic, nails, and more. After the semester ended, I came back out to help with the dig more and I was able to do more than just screen. I was also able to help with mapping out what a unit was supposed to look like for the paperwork.

I found the whole process to be extremely interesting for a couple of different reasons. First, it was a great change of pace compared to what I am used to. Normally my days consist of coming to Sandusky to work in the visitor center and do the projects that I have been given. When there were dig days though, I was able to work on screening and be outside. I really enjoyed that aspect and I would like to do more of it in the future. Second, I found several really interesting artifacts, one of them being a piece to a smoke pipe that came from the Ottoman Empire. This was interesting to me because I was holding history in my hands and that was a unique opportunity for me. These experiences and opportunities have made me appreciate archaeology so much more in the last few months because this is something that I could see myself doing at some point in my career. Even if I do not end up doing this as a career, it was still something that I enjoyed immensely and I learned so much.

One thing that I would love to see happen with a dig such as this is to see more archaeological excavations happen at Sandusky. I think it would be amazing if the rest of the kitchen could be excavated and eventually rebuilt. I would also like to see the smokehouse excavated and learn what artifacts could be unearthed there. Personally, I think that Sandusky has much potential to learn more about the people who lived here and what their role was on a day to day basis. Archaeology is one of the best ways to learn about these things and I hope to see more of it here at Historic Sandusky.


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