2014 May Term Campus Archaeology Project Begins Soon

We will resume work at the 525 North Wittenberg Avenue site starting May 19th. As part of this historical archaeology class, we will continue to work on a 19th century garage that we were able to save for study and excavation. During the course, students will conduct archival work to reconstruct the social history of those who lived in the house or owned the property. Follow our work at this site over the new few weeks. P1190633

Metal Bucket and More Timber Beams


Volunteers from the “Digging for Our Past” course helped expose more of the north end of the garage today (above.) In removing the gravel from May, one student found the base of a metal bucket. Resting in a cut into the brick flooring, the bucket may cover a feature we can expose in the following weeks as we get closer to under covering the cistern further north.

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First Wittenberg Student to Participate in an Excavation Funded by the Nancy L. Benco Archaeological Research Fund

2013 Grantee for the Nancy L. Benco Archaeological Research Fund

Emily O. Hall


Emily O. Hall writes: “The expedition I went on in Greece was one of the best experiences, it was the first time I’ve ever went on a dig and I loved it! We worked in Kalamata, Greece at a site called Ancient Thouria, and it’s over 2,000 years old. We would go to the site at 8 am and stayed until 12:30pm. At the site we learned things such as stratigraphy, how to properly dig at the site, how to clean artifacts, take pictures of new finds and of the site, and draw our findings. We also met many greek students and archaeologist. After we were at the site we would have a break and then have an afternoon session where we would either have a class about archaeological methods, lectures or we would visit other archaeological sites around Kalamata. I learned a lot about the archaeological field and how important it is in developing history. I am glad I had this opportunity to go and wouldn’t have been able togo without the scholarship. Thanks for the opportunity!”


For more information on the funding and to apply, contact Dr. BH.






The Northeast End of the Garage

On Saturday, sixteen students removed gravel on the north end of the garage to begin the excavation of the north end of the nineteenth-century garage. In the east end, students observed two very different sets of bricks. The south end of the garage, measuring 6 x 6 meters, is a nicely paved with bricks on the edge.  In the northeast end, they exposed a very different deposit of bricks, on their beds now, and arranged in very haphazard manner. Students clearly deduced that whoever was responsible for laying the “floor” in this end did not know much about brick masonry. TheP1190902

On Tuesday morning, eight students arrived on site to continue work and removed the bricks after photographs and other documentation was completed. Underneath this rough flooring they found more bricks and large deposit of pebble and sand deposit, likely used to stabilize the bricks above.  

Digging for Our Past-A 19th Century Garage at Wittenberg

On Saturday morning, 17 students began excavating at the site of Lot 3776, a late 19th century property at Wittenberg University’s campus. The students are part of a unique college program that let’s students earn 2 semester credits and start college a bit earlier than other members of their class. Co-leaders, Dr. Carmiele Wilkerson (English) and Dr. Brooks Hedstrom (History), are teaching students how to use archives, artifacts, and writing to craft essays about their past and Wittenberg’s.

Students clearing the west side of the garage floor.

Students clearing the west side of the garage floor.

A big thank you to Tom Stafford, writer for the Springfield News-Sun for reporting on the May Term class “Archaeological Field Methods” with an article entitled: “Students Dig Into Witt History.”

Caitlin Lobl documenting the finds from her day's excavation.

Caitlin Lobl documenting the finds from her day’s excavation.

Read the article below and hear how Wittenberg students experienced discovery and writing history this summer while participating in campus archaeology.


Mark Swope Jr and William Hennigan using a plumb bob to draw a scaled plan of the deposit they excavated on the former front lawn of the first house of the Alpha Z’s (1919-1936).