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Digging history at Valley Forge

June 29, 2009

Valley Forge1Beginning July 6, nine Temple anthropology undergraduates will be taking a field methods course in archaeology.  Their classroom will an archaeology dig on the property of the Washington Memorial Chapel within the Valley Forge National Park.

The course is being taught by Carin Bloom, an anthropology doctoral student who is majoring in archaeology.  Bloom has been digging at the site for the past three years as part of her dissertation.  She says the site is the location where a New England brigade encamped during the winter of 1777-78.  Bloom has also participated in other digs at Valley Forge, most recently a seasonal dig at the Isaac Potts House, which served at General George Washington’s headquarters during the Valley Forge winter encampment.

Among the recent finds at this excavation was a uniformValley Forge2 button that reads “USA.”  Bloom says this is significant since Washington had issued an order in September 1777 for soldiers to replace their state uniform buttons with ones that signify the fledgingly nation.  A hut hearth was also uncovered at the site last last summer.

Visitors are welcome to stop by the excavation site Monday-Friday between 9 a.m.-3 p.m. starting July 13.  The archaeologists will also be present on Wednesday evenings from 5-7 p.m. to discuss the dig and answer any questions.

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