We have returned! It was a beautiful week back at Arcadia for field school!!
In the beginning of the week, we spent time with our Principle Investigator and Arcadia Site Manager, Adrianne Sams, who gave a tour of the previously excavated areas on this expansive archaeological site. She also gave us an overview of the history of Arcadia and talked about the Simpson Family who once owned Arcadia Mill. Katherine Sims, our Field Director, gave us more information about the excavations of the Simpson family home which was started by the previous 2014 field school. Jan Lloyd, the director of the UWF archaeology lab, was kind enough to come out and share her knowledge about the types of artifacts our new students were likely to find in our excavations this summer. In the picture below, Jan is teaching students Robert Love, Robert Cornforth, Hanah Brock, and Ken Newquist the difference between several types of stoneware we find often in Arcadia-era deposits.
A portion of the ten week field school will be spent in attempting to locate the cabins of domestic slaves the Simpson family owned prior to emancipation. Continued research of Arcadia's enslaved population is the primary research goal of Katherine Sims's Master's thesis and it will hopefully contribute additional information to the history of Arcadia Mill. Previous research suggested that there might be archaeological remains of slave cabins to the east of the Big House. Since the land to the east is private property, Katherine obtained permission from fantastic landowners to investigate the possibility that these slave cabins were located in the vicinity. We are using non-invasive remote sensing methods to obtain an idea of where these structures might be before starting small target excavations.
With this knowledge, we got to work! In order to use the various types of remote sensing equipment at our disposal, we first needed to set in a grid using a total station and several on-site datums. The students learned to set up the total station over a known point (datum) and use it to find new points like grid corners. Below, you can see Ken Newquist and Robert Love are setting up the total station over the main permanent datum on-site.
Stay tuned for more updates next week!