NORWICH, Conn. -- Feature on Family Archeology Adventures exhibit.
Many of us have an almost instinctive urge to dig around and find buried treasures. For children, its almost a rite of passage to see what they can unearth in their back yard.
“Most kids are inherently interested in archaeology,” said Kevin McBride, the director of research at Mashantucket Pequot Museum and an associate professor of anthropology at the University of Connecticut.
Adults and children can get together and get dirty in a real site excavation at Indidantown, which was a Pequot community in the 1700s.
Participants are given a set of tools to work alongside museum staff and will spend about four hours in the field, as well as time in the laboratory afterward.
So far, said McBride, some exciting finds have been uncovered.
“We find amazing things here; this place is pretty unique,” he said. “It is the oldest, continuously occupied landscape in the eastern United States.
“It’s a gold mine of information on native people and the Pequots.”
However, people have a romantic notion of archaeology, said McBride, and part of the program will be taking notes in the field to familiarize participants with the process.
“For every hour in the field, there are four to five in the lab, washing and cataloguing,” McBride said.
And while budding archeologists won’t be spending that long in the lab, McBride said that a little time spent there will give them a sense of what the complete process of a dig is like.
The site is part of a national park service grant the museum received this fall, and it was designed to study an area of the reservation the museum didn’t know much about.
People might expect to find pieces of pottery, glass bottles and window glass, McBride said.
In the 1700s, the Pequots lived in wigwams and glass framed homes. Other finds might include gun flints, and remnants of fireplaces.
“We love fireplaces because we find a lot of plant and animal remains there,” McBride said.
IF YOU GO
What: Family Archeology Adventures.
When: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. today and Aug. 16.
Where: Machantucket Pequot Museum.
Price: $10 per person, $8 museum members. Enrollment limited to 15; children 10 and older accompanied by an adult.
For more information or to register, call 800-411-9671.
Norwich (Conn.) Bulletin