Ancient Materials Come to Light in Scott's Landing Archaeological Dig
Holding artifacts that not seen the light of day for over 2,000 years, a group
of amateur and professional archaeologists unearthed ancient materials from a
shell midden illustrating life in the Early Archaic and Ceramic periods of Deer
Isle’s paleo-Indian ancestors at Scott's Landing this summer.
Blessed with good weather, over 20 amateur archaeologists and islanders dug and
meticulously screened a small patch of the island’s newest preserve in
late June and early July. After a lecture and welcoming meal at Ann and Roger
Hooke's the night before, Cox led his own archaeological team and the community
participants through an enthralling but exhausting sun- up to sun-down field
school on the shores of Eggemoggin Reach.
Cox's team has worked with him on many other digs so they were paired up
with community members to learn proper archaeological field techniques and how
to recognize materials such as stone tools, pottery, food remains, and cultural
features such as hearths and tent floors. Cox and others taught the more inexperienced
participants how to record and interpret results and protect fragile artifacts
for future study.
From the photo of the materials, one can see how crucial
it is when excavating a site that everything be carefully
removed from a site and its location recorded
Many community members remarked on the effort expended and time needed to protect
the detailed history and important information that is available in a professionally
IHT President and anthropologist Bill Haviland says in his book, Deer Isle's
Original People, that "Once taken out of context, objects by themselves
tell us next to nothing. Thus to dig around in archaeological sites looking
for relics destroys them and the information they contain as effectively as
were bulldozed into oblivion."
He goes to say that Paleo-indian sites are generally "very small briefly
but repeatedly by small groups of people – perhaps 1 or 2 families together."
Often the sites were used for seasonal camping, fishing and harvesting for
a highly mobile people who worked closely in clans and small units.
Steve Cox will be providing an in-depth public lecture about the findings of
the Scotts Landing sometime in the fall of 2007.
Many thanks to Ken and Marnie Reed Crowell for their key role in creating this
great opportunity for Deer Isle and the IHT and to the Bar Harbor Bank and
Trust and the Island Education Foundation and other donors who underwrote the
of the field school.
Dr. Steve Cox has over three decades of field school experience and has led
excavations for the Maine State Museum and the Abbe Museum. He is currently
an Adjunct Curator
for the Maine State Museum.
Cox's team included Betsy Webster, Diane Kopec, Donna Madonna, Jacob
Freedman, Laurie Labar, Robert and Sandy Lewis, Robin Marion, Stephanie Wagner,
Community members were 18 year-old islanders Greta Avis and Brittany Pottle,
Joanie Banks, teachers Pam Cohen and Stephanie Lee, Tom and Marilyn Mehalic,
Cathy Hart, Wilson Museum Director Patty Hutchins, Ken Schweikert, and Marion
420 Sunset Road ~ Deer Isle, Maine
Mail: P.O. Box 42 / Deer Isle, ME 04627