Where: Thwings Pt., Woolwich
When: July 13-July 17, 2009
Contact: Ed Friedman, FOMB, 666-3372
In 1654 at the home and trading post of Thomas Ashley on what is now Thwings Pt. in Woolwich, a group of early settlers met and signed papers forming the first European style government in the Merrymeeting Bay region. Next week, from July 13-17th volunteers are invited to join Friends of Merrymeeting Bay (FOMB) in a cooperative venture with the Maine Historical Preservation Commission (MHPC), during a Phase 2 archaeological survey of this important historical site along the Kennebec River.
A Phase 1 survey is the initial archaeological exploration given a new site. The purpose is to quickly cover a large area in a methodical manner. Small test pits are dug, soil stratigraphy and any artifacts found are recorded and the pits are back-filled. This was done in 2007 by FOMB volunteers and MHPC staff. Results from the Phase 1 survey indicated future and more complete excavations were desirable, hence the 2009 Phase 2 survey focusing on a concentrated area of 17th century artifacts unearthed in 2007. Leading the dig will be MHPC historical archaeologist Lee Cranmer.
Friends of Merrymeeting Bay invites volunteers to assist with the project. Volunteers are required to pre-register with minimum time commitments of a 1/2 day, though multi-day assistance is encouraged, space permitting. A $20.00 minimum donation to FOMB is suggested to help defray the $5,000 FOMB cost share of the project. Donations of at least $50.00 from non-FOMB members will include a 1-year membership in the organization. Any artifacts recovered remain the property of the landowner.
Volunteers will have the opportunity to work with and learn from trained archaeologists while making an important contribution to our knowledge of Maine history. There will be a maximum of two volunteers per MHPC staff person with six volunteer slots available per ½ day session. Donations, at far less than a similar field school might cost, will help support the continued work of FOMB in areas like this one. The morning time slot is 8:00-12 and the afternoon slot 12:30-4:30 with a lunch break at noon. Contact Dig Coordinator Sarah Cowperthwaite 449-1450 or firstname.lastname@example.org to register.
FOMB works to protect the Bay and areas around it through research and advocacy, education, conservation and stewardship. The focus of this year’s dig is on property protected by conservation easement. It was part of a larger parcel now owned by the State of Maine and managed by the Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife. The entire property was protected through efforts led by FOMB in partnership with the Nature Conservancy and Maine Wetlands Protection Coalition and acquired with funds from the Land for Maine’s Future Bond approved several years ago.
The next regularly scheduled FOMB Outside Series outing will be a Little Swan Island Paddle Tuesday evening July 14 from 6-8pm. A minimum of intermediate paddling skills are required as are PFDs. Please pre-register with trip leader Warren Whitney at 666-3376