Program to show digging in dirt can yield backyard finds

Thursday, September 29, 2016
Emily Fox (left) and Kady McKean get into their work at an archaeological site near Putnamville.
Courtesy photo

It’s happened to most of us. You’re digging to plant flowers, when all of a sudden, “Thunk!”

You’re tromping down another molehill, when you spy something shiny. The shovel brings up a piece of china, the hoe hits metal, the spade overturns a piece of crockery. How long has that been there? What’s it made of? How old is it? How do I find out? And just like that, archaeology happens.

Emily Fox and Kady McKean will shed light on those and other notions in an informational talk on identifying things you could dig up in your own backyard Saturday, Oct. 1 at the Putnam County Museum.

The 11 a.m. program is free and open to the public.

Fox and McKean will share their personal experiences and knowledge of finds they’ve made while digging in the dirt at an archaeological site north of Putnamville.

Working with DePauw professor, Lydia Marshall, they cataloged and analyzed artifacts from that site. They will share their analysis and process in their museum presentation as well as some history of the Sellers and Staten families, which the excavation was centered around.

Both students participated in the excavation and are excited to use the artifacts as a comparative collection to represent Putnam County in the late 1800s early 1900s.

McKean, a junior at DePauw majoring in history from Poland, Ind., hopes to continue her education after graduation and obtain a doctorate in public history in order to become a museum curator.

Fox, a junior anthropology and French double major from Columbus, Ohio, focuses her studies around gender and sexuality, and plans to attend graduate school in cultural anthropology to earn her Ph.D. and become a professor.

Attendees may bring one “dug” item that needs identification, but this option is limited to the first 15 people with an artifact. Depending on popularity, ongoing identification workshops may take place at future dates.

For more information, persons may contact the museum at 653-8419.

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