I can DIG it!
Cadets Do Professional Archaeology
On January 18, 2014, Cadets Hunter Cole, Nick Sheffron and Alex Whitmore assisted Major Ghaffar on an archaeological project in Kershaw County.
The project involved testing for historic and prehistoric remains on and around a proposed building site for a new cell phone tower. In compliance with Section 501 of the Environmental Protection Act, the cell tower company was required to have cultural resource management work done to ensure that the new structure does not negatively impact any historic or prehistoric sites.
Originally, seven shovel tests (round excavation units as deep as 100 centimeters) were dug, yielding one prehistoric artifact. Upon the request of a Shawnee Indian group, three additional shovel tests, as well as a 50cmx50cm square unit were dug to make sure no valuable cultural resources were damaged.
Cadets Cole and Whitmore teamed up on the shovel tests, while Cadet Sheffron worked with Major Ghaffar on the square unit.
After a couple of hours of hot work in the cold, windy afternoon, all the excavations were complete. The cadets’ efforts yielded no further artifacts, however the boys learned a valuable lesson about archaeology: you can’t know whether something is hidden underground or not without digging some holes and looking. In order to know where antiquities are, we must also know where they are not.
This is not the first archeological project in which Cole, Sheffron and Whitmore have participated. These cadets were all involved with CMAAS last year, attended numerous guest lectures by professional archaeologists and professors, and excavated at the Kolb Site in March of 2013.
“What I like about archaeology is that it teaches you patience, and I’ve learned to appreciate the big value of little things,” Cole said.