Location: Newcastle, Maine, United States
Archaeologist Tim Dinsmore will continue his research work on the 18th-century Bryant-Barker Tavern site located along the west bank of the upper Damariscotta River in Newcastle. This research is part of Tim's study of colonial shipwrights and their families that he has undertaken since 1980. Field school participants will have the opportunity to partake in one of four back-to-back one week sessions, or for a reduced price, several sessions, or all.
The goal for this year's field season is to excavate an area located in the front yard to the tavern (site) where we anticipate finding additional 18th-century artifacts and features associated with the tavern. The excavation of this area, in combination with previous excavation areas, will make possible artifact distribution maps of like artifacts which will help highlight areas of former trash deposits and various other activities that transpired from this Revolutionary War era tavern. Throughout its operation as a tavern the structure also served as home to the Bryant family who operated one of the first shipyards on the Damariscotta. In addition to learning the various field aspects of archaeology participants will also study Bryant's 1772 probate inventory to understand the importance that historical documents play in understanding the past. Participants will aquire proper field methodology including excavation techniques, draw plans and profiles, identify archaeological features, laying in a gridsystem with a transit, become familiar with 18th-century artifacts that we will likely encounter, etc. An orientation on Monday morning will orient participants to past work at the Bryant-Barker Tavern site. Additional lectures may be part of the program but the intent is to stay focused and in the field.
Participants are required to register prior to attending the field school and a $100 fee is required upfront to hold your position. Register soon as this very popular program fills quickly. The minimum age to attend is 14 and past field school sessions have included high school age students, college students (majoring in anthropology, history, American studies, material culture and museum studies, etc.), 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.
Period(s) of Occupation: American Colonial and Post-Colonial Period (1765-1803)
Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: One Session (5-days)
Room and Board Arrangements
We do not provide room and board. We will, however, provide upon request, a listing of places to stay such as motels, B & Bs, campgrounds, etc.