Location: Damariscotta, ME, US
Season: July 7, 2019 to July 26, 2019
Session Dates: Session 1: July 7-12 Session 2: July 14-19 Session 3: July 21-26
Application Deadline: July 5, 2019
Damariscotta River Association
Archaeologist Tim Dinsmore
Damariscotta River Association’s (DRA’s) 2018 Archaeology Field School is returning to the Elisha Hatch Homestead site (1769-1803) located off River Road in Newcastle. The site marks the third and final leg of historical archaeologist Tim Dinsmore’s investigation into the 18th-century Barstow-Bryant shipbuilding complex, which began in 1980. Dinsmore is directing field school participants in the partial excavation of the Hatch Homestead site with the aim of continuing to define the structural layout of the site.
Hatch carried out the smithy work for shipwright George Barstow (Hale site), and presumably for contemporary shipwright Nathaniel Bryant (Bryant-Barker Tavern site) during the mid-1760s to 1772. Soon after, the Hatch homestead and property was acquired by yeoman James Givens – kin to David Givens of Sheepscot and Robert Givens of Pemaquid Falls – and by 1790 was occupied by Nathaniel Bryant’s son, Nathaniel.
Nathaniel Bryant II resumed building wooden sailing vessels at his father’s yard prior to relocating his operations to the Damariscotta Mills in 1803. Thus the Hatch site was occupied by a blacksmith, yeoman and shipwright during its relatively brief existence. What became of the homestead shortly thereafter is unclear though archaeological evidence indicates that that its demise soon followed.
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.
Period(s) of Occupation: 1769-1803
Original research into the maritime history and archaeology of midcoastal Maine
Project Size: 1-24 participants
Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: Minimum of one session
Minimum Age: 14
Experience Required: The minimum age to attend is 14. Past field school sessions have included a mix of high school age students, college students, and retirees who have always wanted to participate in a professional archaeological dig. Experience among participants in past years has ranged from first timers, to seasoned excavators, to up and coming archaeologists.
Room and Board Arrangements:
Room and Board are not offerred Cost: Sign up for more than one session and receive discounted rates. One session: $400 / $375 for DRA members Two sessions: $640 / $590 for DRA members Three sessions: $840 / $765 for DRA members Two partial scholarships are available to qualifying teachers and students through the Helen Gurland Scholarship Fund. Additionally, one full scholarship is available for a high school student, with preference given to a student at Lincoln Academy. Call DRA at 207-563-1393 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information.
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