McDuffie County once again hosted students from the area for an archaeology camp at Hickory Hills from June 20-24.
This camp, designed for children aged 11-17, offered both beginner and advanced versions of the camp.
Franke Smith, educator at Hickory Hill, said the campers did some digging at the Jeffersonian Publishing Plant, which is where Thomas Watson published newspapers back in the 1910s and early 1920s.
“We’re doing an active excavation of a registered archaeological site,” Smith said.
Campers learn about all of the methods and different tools used in archaeology, as well as about the variety of artifacts they might find.
She added that they normally dig in the mornings and do the cultural history activities in the afternoons. She added that they do learn about cultural history, as well.
“So, about the types of artifacts you will find in different parts of the world and with different cultures,” Smith said. “We do mix that up a little bit. This year, they were learning about Native Americans, and we did some beading.”
Smith said in the past they’ve done a wide variety of activities.
“In the past, we’ve done things about labyrinths, because the labyrinth symbol is found all over the world,” Smith said. “Native American cultures, Asian cultures, all over. So, it just depends.”
They try to change it up so the campers who return each year have a different experience.
This year’s camp included several who have participated in the past. Smith said whenever they have a lot of returning students, they add some things in that the beginning camp doesn’t do.
According to Smith, the advanced camp does some cataloging and cleaning in addition to the other activities.
“Yesterday, they were doing some pottery reconstruction,” Smith said. “So, we try to give them a little bit more of the lab experience in advanced archaeology than just the excavation experience.”
Smith said this is a week she looks forward to each year, and she has been participating in this camp for 10 years, though it has been run since 2005.
“So, we’ve been digging up here for 17 years,” Smith said.