Amateur archaeologist shares findings of local dig

April 01, 2005|by RICHARD F. BELISLE

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - About 60 members of the Kittochtinny Historical Society learned something Thursday night about people who lived in Franklin County 9,000 years ago.

Doug Stine, president of the Cumberland Valley Chapter 27 of the Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology Inc., was the guest speaker for the historical society's monthly meeting at The Lighthouse Restaurant.

An amateur archaeologist, Stine centered his remarks and slide presentation on the Ebbert Spring Site, a dig two miles south of Greencastle, Pa., that members of his chapter have been working on since July 2003.


Artifacts they dug up point to the history of Native American culture from 7000 B.C. up through the introduction of the first European settlers to the area in the 1730s, Stine said.

A large table in the meeting room displayed what Stine and his fellow society members turned up - arrowheads, pieces of pottery and bone and tools.

The slide presentation showed how the site was mapped and chartered and how the digging is proceeding.

"The dig can go on indefinitely," Stine said. "We've just scratched the surface."

The original reason for the excavations was to try to find evidence of a foundation to a fort built to protect settlers from Indian attacks.

As the crew began digging they found that they were uncovering evidence of prehistoric activity, Stine said.

The first 3 inches contains modern historic items while the next 3 inches into the dig turned up the first evidence of prehistoric activity dating to the Late Woodland Period, Stine said.

The deeper the amateur archaeologists dug, the older the history they discovered. At the 15-inch level they uncovered evidence dating to the Middle and Early Archaic periods.

Stine said the local chapter has about 40 members, 25 of whom participate in the weekend digs.

"We are family oriented," he said. "We have six husband-and-wife teams."

Ann Hull, president of the historical society, said she was pleased that the group was finally able to get Stine to talk to the members about the excavation project.

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