This blog includes updates from the Fort St. Joseph Archaeological Project sponsored by Western Michigan University in partnership with the City of Niles, the Fort St. Joseph Museum, Support the Fort, Inc. and other community groups. The Project is dedicated to archaeological research, education, community service learning, and intensive public outreach. The Principal investigator of the Project is Dr. Michael Nassaney.
Good morning all you FSJ
enthusiasts! It’s been a long summer and we’ve been busy people working on many
projects in order to prepare for this year’s field season. One of the first
things we did this summer was attending the Mini Maker Fair in St. Joseph. Genna
represented us and had a booth set up for us. It was a beautiful day for some archaeology!
At the fair, there were inventors and kid’s crafts galore. Genna enjoyed
showing kids how to use the shaker screens to search for artifacts and teaching
them a little about stratigraphy. Our panels drew people in with more questions
about Fort St. Joseph. Although we may have been a booth geared more towards
adults, we still got plenty of attention from kids!
Genna's booth at the Mini Maker Fair
One ongoing and very exciting
project is one that I took on with Austin. He and I are in the process of
redesigning a new website for the project! I never envisioned myself being able
to do something like this, but it’s been really interesting. In order to
accomplish this project, Austin and I had to participate in a series of online
training sessions through Western Michigan. Once completed, we were ready to
take on the challenge! I’m excited to share with you all that our new website
is in the process of being approved by the University and will be live very
shortly. Stay tuned for updates and the big reveal!
This past Monday, Anne and I were
at the Air Zoo in Portage teaching kids about archaeology. We did an activity
with about 15 elementary school children enrolled in the Air Zoo’s summer camp
program. Anne and I taught the kids about the Law of Stratigraphy. This law
says that the older the materials are, the deeper in the soil layers (called stratigraphy)
they can be found. I created a poster board with different layers of soil and
the kids had to color a picture of an artifact of their choice. Once colored,
they had to guess what layer their artifact could be found in. I love teaching
kids about archaeology with hands on activities like this one because it’s so
much fun to watch them get excited about archaeology.
Perhaps the most exciting thing
that we’ve done so far was just wrapping up our orientation with our new
students! This year we have eight very eager and bright students in field
school. Yesterday was probably my favorite day of orientation because they get
to learn a little bit more about field techniques. They learn how to use the
Total Station theodolite, how to set up a unit, and even practice their right
angle mapping skills. As a student last year, it’s a little crazy to think that
my field school was already over by this point in the summer and these new
students have barely yet to begin. I can’t wait to see what this season brings
for them, the project, and the community! I hope you all have a happy and safe
holiday weekend and we’ll see you Tuesday!
Austin teaching students Paul, Anne, and Drew how to set up a 1x1 meter unit