Mississippi - De Soto NF
Closed! Prehistoric Sites near Camp Shelby
Forest near Camp Shelby
April 18-23; 25-30; May 2-5, 2016 (including weekends)
Must commit to one full session; may participate in more
Join us on the De Soto National Forest this spring for an excavation in the wooded ridges around Davis Creek! On these ridges, we'll be testing two late Woodland Period (ca. A.D. 500-900) sites: "WFSASD" and "Ghost Mosquito." "Ghost Mosquito," the larger of the two, sits right above the Davis Creek floodplain. "WFSASD," is just to the north, at the intersection of Davis Creek and a spring-fed tributary. Both sites appear to be most promising for examining and understanding the past inhabitants of the surrounding area. We will excavate the two sites for objects and features that may help determine the relationship to other sites in the region. Specifically, we'll study the sites for traces of in-ground cooking ovens and fire spots, and we'll examine recovered assemblages for ceramics and other diagnostic artifacts whose attributes may provide clues to the precise temporal and spatial linkages to other sites found in the area. Our work here will also be the first of several steps in defining them for placement on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP).
We'll be working on a wooded strip of Forest Service land between Camp Shelby (the largest active National Guard camp in the U.S.) and an active tank range. We'll be safe, but there might be plenty of noise! The way to the sites will involve walking long distances along a temporary trail through the woods, and supplies and equipment will have to be packed in, but it'll all be worth it! If you're able to laugh at the archaeologist (and his horrible jokes and puns) and have an innate ability to have fun, then this project is for you–we hope to see you in April for another unique excavation opportunity on the De Soto!
Number of openings: 45 (15 per session)
Special skills: Volunteers must be physically capable of hiking long distances each day, over a rough, temporary trail, in fluctuating temperatures, and must be physically capable of kneeling/sitting/stooping for extended periods each day; previous archaeological excavation, mapping, artifact identification (specifically Woodland Period), and/or previous De Soto archaeology experience helpful, but not required
Minimum age: 18 years old
Facilities: Developed RV, tent, and cabin camping/lodging available at Paul B. Johnson State Park; RV hook-ups, water, bath house; FEES WILL APPLY; very crude, dispersed facilities in nearby forest; Wiggins and Hattiesburg are full-service communities with hotels/motels, restaurants, and a full range of other amenities; volunteers responsible for own lodging/personal camping equipment, food, water during work hours, and transportation
Nearest towns: Hattiesburg, 7 miles; Brooklyn, 17 miles; Wiggins, 30 miles
Applications due: March 7, 2016