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Archaeology Students Digging Up Pieces from the Past

STROUDSBURG, Pa. — Some college students are digging up pieces from the Poconos’ past.

Archaeology students from Juniata College will be working to unearth artifacts from centuries ago outside the Stroud Mansion in Stroudsburg.

The Stroud Mansion is the site of a former military fort. Students are hoping to dig up some of what might still remain from that time period.

Some of the diggers we spoke to say this field project is much better than sitting in a classroom.

“It’s really neat to get hands-on experience, to see how hard it is to go through each layer of the soil, and see how many different things are buried there and that is just barely scratching the surface. There are hundreds of things buried underneath us everywhere that we don’t even know,” said junior Autumn McDivitt.

The Stroud Mansion is the site of Fort Hamilton, a former military fort from the 1700s. Back in November, members of the team came to evaluate the property.

Jonathan Burns is an instructor at Juniata College and says they found lots of artifacts then and are hoping to find even more this time around.

“We dug eight shovel test pits, like little test units, and we found over 2,000 artifacts, so we are expecting that it might be pretty heavy being here for 20 days,” said Burns.

The students we spoke to say getting out here and getting their hands dirty is a much better experience than sitting in a classroom and looking at slides.

“You can’t really get your hands dirty in the classroom with textbooks, so this is a great experience,” said Dakota Kalavoda, an archaeology student at Lycoming College.

He found out about the field school and decided to come and help.

“It provides skills you need to get a job in the real world. If you just have classroom knowledge, you don’t really have the field experience to get out there and dig. That is kind of where most of the jobs are in the states.”

The team will be at the Stroud Mansion site until July 7. When students are done, they will fill the holes that were created during the dig.


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