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Archaeology campers 'have fun finding old things'

Fragments of bowls, animal bones and teeth, nails, framing spikes and stones unearthed in Waynesboro

July 17, 2012|By JENNIFER FITCH | waynesboro@herald-mail.com
  • Alia Hughes, 12, examines a possible artifact during an archaeology camp being held in Waynesboro, Pa.
By Jennifer Fitch, Staff Writer

WAYNESBORO, Pa. — One day camp in Waynesboro this week is guaranteed to get the children’s clothes dirty.

Twelve children are participating in the third annual archaeology camp through Little Antietam Creek Inc., a nonprofit organization focused on historical and archaeological research. They are searching for artifacts on the Lyons Road property inhabited by the John Stoner family in the 1700s.

Fragments of bowls, animal bones and teeth, nails, framing spikes and stones forming a wall have been unearthed. A portion of the house on the property dates to the 1770s.

“The property is still in family hands,” said Scott Parker, who said he is a descendent of the Stoner family.
Parker is president and director of research for Little Antietam Creek Inc.

Campers first set up 5-foot by 5-foot sections on which to work. They use mason trowels, spoons and brushes to comb through dirt and rock.

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Gettysburg (Pa.) College anthropology student Morgan Rouscher, an intern with Parker, described the items being found as “buried treasure dug up the right way.”

“The reason we’re digging and the research we’re doing is to learn more about the Stoner farm,” Parker said.

The items being revealed are what people left behind, largely from the trash they swept out the door, Parker said.

“With archaeology, you never know what you’re going to find,” he said. “It doesn’t lie. What you see is what happened.”

On Tuesday, Paul Skehan, 11, started setting up a new exploration section after a meter detected stone below ground.

“We’ll get shovels out and dig the main part,” Paul said.

Paul’s sisters participated in the camp previously and suggested he try it, as did his teacher at St. Andrew School.

“You can have fun finding old things,” said Paul, who lives in Blue Ridge Summit, Pa.

Lucy Bourdeau, 10, of Waynesboro, said she was most excited to find teeth, which are believed to be leftovers from butchering or cooking.

“It’s really fun, and you’ll find a lot,” said Audrey Foreman, 11, of Waynesboro.

“You can learn about the artifacts you find,” said Alia Hughes, 12, of Chambersburg, Pa.

Information about the artifacts is entered into a database and the items are put into storage. Parker said that one day he would like to open the Stoner house as a museum.

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