Students, teachers, and history buffs interested in archaeology have an opportunity this summer to join a field school led by Southern Maine Community College adjunct professor Dr. Neill De Paoli and sponsored by the Old Berwick Historical Society.
The Old Fields Archaeological Field School will be held in three sessions: June 25-29, July 2-6, and July 9-13, 2012.
The focus of the dig is in Old Fields, a semi-rural neighborhood that 330 years ago was a small hamlet of several homes, a tavern, meetinghouse, burial ground, town wharf, and expansive hay fields. Historical documents suggest this locale was a fortified garrison during the conflict-ridden 1690s and early 1700s. In 1690 and 1691, Wabanaki war parties attacked an Old Fields garrison and two men working in a nearby field.
Field school participants this summer will work to uncover more of a structure first unearthed in 2011 that appears to have been a home and the tavern. They will also search for the first clear-cut evidence of the fortified Spencer garrison that is believed to have stood on this property in the 1690s and early 1700s. The program will be highlighted by a ground-penetrating radar survey of the site, a field trip to South Berwick’s Counting House Museum, and weekly films and discussions.
De Paoli has 35 years of experience as a historical archaeologist, having directed archaeological projects in Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts.
The Old Fields Archaeological Field School is limited to a maximum of 10 enrollees per session. Participants must be at least 16. The program will run Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Tuition is $175.00 for one session, $325.00 for two and $480.00 for all three sessions.