Special Edition Day 2 May 8, 2001
The Fort Edwards Archaeologist
Unearthing the Story of Joseph Edwards's Home and Fort
Report on the Archaeological Excavations at Fort Edwards, home site of Joseph
Edwards and a French and Indian War frontier fort of Col. George Washington.
This archaeological excavation is part of the ongoing project of The Fort Edwards Foundation of Capon Bridge, West Virginia, to preserve, protect and interpret the home site and fort site at Joseph Edwards's land grant on the banks of the Cacapon River in Hampshire County, West Virginia. This site represents both an early settler's home of the second quarter of the eighteenth century and a French and Indian War fort in Col. George Washington's chain of forts protecting the Virginia frontier. The excavation is under the direction of Dr. Stephen McBride of Wilbur Smith Associates of Lexington, KY. This page is one of a series of reports on the work.
Day Two - Getting in the Ground
Shovel Test Pits
front of the old house, the team got down to a series of shovel test pits (STPs). They placed several rows of STPs: a row of them in front of the house, a row on the slope beside the house and some down the driveway toward the hardsurface road. In some cases they enlarged the test pits when something interesting appeared in the hole. One STP along the driveway revealed two bricks apparently once used as pavers or as a foundaton for some kind of building. Across the driveway from this hole the ground was obviously strewn with gravel and shale as though someone was trying to make the floor of a shed or possibly a place for parking or other special usage.
The second day of the dig made some real progress. After checking once again the redisked ground in
Marking the Artifacts
As the team collected more and more artifacts they needed more time to identify and store them. Dr. McBride spent some time making sure that everything was properly marked and placed in bags. One can see that the bags, either paper bags or plastic bags, were marked with all the information necessary to identify exactly where the artifact was found and to show individual indentification. Once the items are taken to the laboratory and cleaned they will be marked with a special identifying number and listed in the database of artifacts. Then they will be returned to The Fort Edwards Foundation. Some of them will be put on display in the Visitor Center.
Tuesday was a special day at the site because The Foundation hosted about seventy fifth grade students from the Romney area. As part of its mission to educate the public about this important colonial Hampshire County site, The Foundation has invited every fifth grade student in Hampshire County to come visit us while the archaeologists are at work. Of course, there will be public tours available on Saturday, May 12th, but these lucky students have the day all to themselves.
When they arrived the group was divided into three smaller groups so they could have three presentations on the fort site and the work that is going on.