On Saturday, June 11th, from 10 am to 3:00 pm Guilford Courthouse National Military Park will be hosting an Archaeology Family Day for the public. There will be presentations, activities for the whole family, and tours. Visitors will get a chance to see the archaeological team and the many tools that are used every day in the field as well as learn of techniques and skills that need to be mastered in order to be a part of this fast-moving scientific field. This is a great opportunity for kids and adults alike to see what the profession of archaeology is all about.
Since May 23, 2011, university students from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and the National Park have been teamed together to uncover the courthouse used in the Battle of Guilford Courthouse. Throughout the past few weeks, the students have been using their skills learned in the classroom to better understand the field application of their knowledge. During the field school, students are collaborating and excavating within the park using ground penetrating radar, metal detectors, and traditional archeological techniques.
Thanks to a generous cash donation from the Guilford Battleground Company that was matched by a Federal Partnership Grant, and the hard work of the University of North Carolina, the National Park Service is finally able to hold this level of excavation. “Guilford Courthouse, which stood at the eastern edge of the battlefield, is a lost treasure in the history of our nation” said Park Superintendent Charles Cranfield. The Courthouse is where Andrew Jackson practiced law before his presidency, President George Washington visited during his 1791 tour, and where the center of a small backwoods town (Guilford Courthouse) existed before Greensboro became the county seat of Guilford County.
Further information and daily events will be posted through the group’s Facebook site: Finding the Courthouse
The GBC is delighted to be able to provide financial assistance for this important endeavor. The site of the courthouse is shown on several maps drawn shortly after the battle, but its actual location has been debated by scholars for many years. We hope this search will be able to identify that site. We are grateful to the Patriot members of the GBC whose contributions have made this significant search possible.
High tech equipment such as the ground penetrating radar is being used for the first time in the search for the courthouse, but the “on your hands and knees” digging in the hot sun, and sifting the soil for items are still a major part of the search. What is thought to be a brick chimney base, 18th century nails, pottery shards and teeth are among the items already unearthed.
See Triad News 14 video of the dig at the following link. http://triad.news14.com/content/top_stories/641499/students-help-on-archaeological-dig-to-find-courthouse
Visit the team in action below. (Click on photos to enlarge.)