Public Archaeology Day at Wormsloe

Next in our student series is Kirstyn Cardwell who attended Public Archaeology Day at Wormsloe Historic Site this past weekend.

Public Archaeology Day at Wormsloe Historic Site

Wormsloe State Historic Site hosted a Public Archaeology Day on April 14, 2018. The site was originally owned by Noble Jones who came to America as a colonist with James Oglethorpe. He leased about 500 acres of land on Isle of Hope where he built a house he named Wormslow, later renamed Wormsloe. What is left of the structure is now considered the Tabby Ruins. His family passed the property down through the years and still own a large amount of the area today. (Wormsloe Pamphlet)

tabby

Wormsloe’s tabby ruins

Archaeology Day is a public outreach program to get the community interested in the history of Wormsloe. They set up a small excavation site for the guest to take part in. The site has not been excavated since 1969, so in 2017 they set up a small dig next to the tabby ruins. The archaeologist found arrow heads, pottery, a glass bottle, tools, pipes and buttons.

2017 artifacts

Artifacts from the 2017 dig

For Archaeology Day this year, they wanted to excavate another small section with the community to see what else can be found near the tabby ruins. Three archaeologists from Atlanta were brought in to help with the dig. They dug a small shovel test pit and were allowing guests to help dry screen the dirt that was dug out.

tu

Test unit excavation at Wormsloe’s Public Archaeology Day

screening

Screening soil from the test unit

They found small chunks of brick and other building materials that they think indicates a structure. Because of the type of building materials found, they think it could have been a blacksmith shop or somewhere they were doing metal working. The other idea is that these pieces could have been tossed from the main building that still partially stands.

2018 artifacts

Artifacts found during the 2018 Public Archaeology day

They had two booths set up in the area. At one booth was Sarah Love, the archaeology outreach coordinator for the Historic Preservation Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, explaining what archaeology is and what kind of items are found in Georgia. She explained to guests that archaeology is not always ancient ruins from Rome. Artifacts can be found all over Georgia ranging from Native American times to about 50 years ago. She had a table of findings from around Georgia.

The other booth was set up to let people know that they can volunteer at Wormsloe. If you would like to just go out and visit, they are open Tuesday through Sunday from 9 am to 5 pm. The site has hiking trials, a museum, a gift shop and ruins for you to explore. Animals are allowed on the site as long as they are on a leash.

Sources:

Georgia Department of Natural Resources Brochure. Wormsloe State Historic Site.

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