WC students collaborate with Lost Towns project to preserve critical historical sites | News

CHESTERTOWN — Just about every little kid loves digging in the dirt.

For anthropology major Barbara MacGuigan, it’s a passion she has yet to outgrow, and her experience this summer as part of a new archaeological collaboration between Washington College and the Lost Towns Project is only feeding that fire.

“I like finding things, and the stories the artifacts can tell, and what they tell us about the people who owned them and made them. That’s really the big reason I got into archaeology,” she said in a news release. “A lot of stories get lost, and I’d like to see if we can find them again, try and piece things together and try to understand them better so we can relate to each other as humans and try not to repeat the mistakes of the past.”

MacGuigan, a rising junior, and Shannon Lawn, a rising senior who also is an anthropology major, are spending four weeks at River Farm on Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary, an area of the Patuxent River about 45 miles upstream from the Chesapeake Bay.

Under the guidance of Julie Markin, assistant professor of anthropology, the two are helping excavate a site where Native Americans lived as many as 12,000 years ago, and which now is being threatened by higher tides and sea level rise.

The site, under excavation through a collaboration of the Lost Towns Project, Anne Arundel County, the Archaeological Society of Maryland and, now, Washington College, is part of a larger region of historical and archaeological significance, said Stephanie Sperling, River Farm field director.

“This is a 1,300-foot-long flood plain, and this site is continuous with Native American occupation and colonial occupation as well,” she said in the release.

Markin was looking for a way to engage students with her research and expand the kinds of archaeological internships available when…

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