Mississippi - De Soto NF
Intensive Examinations of Artifacts Lab
Harold Koppel (GA) examining small artifacts
October 20-29, 2021 (excluding weekend)
Volunteers must commit to entire session
Come join our District’s laboratory team on the De Soto National Forest this fall as we try to sort out all the…stuff! Over the past 13 years, the District has had both prehistoric and historic excavations and several historic metal-detecting surveys. Gathering the data from the artifact assemblages has been the focus, but that information has been piling up in quiet corners waiting for interesting and interested folks to help unlock their secrets. Are you one of those? All of the collections will need to be cleaned, processed, analyzed, and prepared for curation, and we need your help! Assemblages have yielded dates ranging from 1,100-4,000 years old on the prehistoric front, and 75-180 years old on the historic. During this lab, PIT volunteers will learn how to examine both historic and prehistoric artifacts in great detail, and how to glean important and pertinent information about the various occupants of the sites on the De Soto’s overall cultural landscape. Volunteers will use a regionally recognized manual, created specifically for both the historic cultures and the prehistoric cultures of southern Mississippi, to analyze and interpret the finds. If you can laugh at (or at least tolerate) bad jokes on the part of the project leader, are interested in having fun, and ready to learn about Mississippi’s past and pick up some archaeological lab and curation skills, then this project is for you – see you in October!
Please note: Strict COVID-19 protocols will be followed, including the wearing of masks, social distancing, etc. Additionally, given current national and global circumstances, some aspects of the project may be subject to change. The project leader will notify all selectees should this occur.
Number of openings: 12
Special skills: Must be physically capable of sitting and studying minute artifactual details for extended periods; volunteers must be able to laugh, have fun, and listen to bad jokes; previous archaeological lab experience (particularly on the De Soto NF) helpful and desired, but not required
Minimum age: 18 years old
Facilities: Developed RV, tent, and cabin camping/lodging available at Paul B. Johnson State Park, Flint Creek Water Park, and numerous other places; RV hook-ups, water, bath house; fees will apply; dispersed tent camping and very rustic 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 and water during work hours, and transportation
Nearest towns: Janice; Brooklyn, 9 miles; Wiggins, 20 miles; Hattiesburg, 28 miles
Applications due: August 9, 2021