Mississippi - De Soto NF
Grabbing the Tiger by the Tail: Tiger Creek Excavations
De Soto National Forest
October 23-27; 29-31; November 1-3, 2018 (including weekend)
Must commit to one entire session; may participate in more
Please join us on the De Soto National Forest for an excavation of the prehistoric "Tiger Creek Lookout!" The site is on a high terrace overlooking Tiger Creek, one of the main drainages that flows into the Biloxi River, which was a major prehistoric (and historic) travel route inland from and to the Gulf Coast, and connected several important procurement sites, as well as providing natural “roads” between cultural entities. Tiger Creek Lookout is a multi-component (ca. B.C. 1,000-A.D. 1,100) site that has yielded artifacts (mainly pottery) that have not only been found at other sites on the Forest, but also types from Northern Mississippi, the Mississippi River area, and as far afield as the lower Alabama/Florida region. This season, we will excavate the site for objects and features that may help determine the precise relationship among the sites in the area. Specifically, we'll study the site for traces of in-ground cooking ovens and fire spots, and we'll examine assemblages already recovered here for ceramics and other diagnostic artifacts whose attributes may be similar to those found in the overall, larger region. In addition, almost no non-survey heritage work has been done in the area; our work at the site will be the first of several steps in defining it for placement on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP).
We'll be working on a wooded strip of Forest Service land north of the Gulf Coast. We'll be hiking to the site each day from a base camp. The route involves walking a short distance along a temporary trail through the woods, and supplies and equipment will have to be packed in, but it will all be worth it! If you're able to laugh, have fun, and listen to bad jokes by the archaeologist (when he has a good "bad" one), then this project is for you – we hope to see you this fall for another unique excavation opportunity on the De Soto!
Number of openings: 39 (13 per session)
Special skills: Volunteers must be physically capable of hiking ~1/8 mile over a rough, temporary trail every day in fluctuating temperatures, and must be physically capable of kneeling and sitting for extended periods each day; previous archaeological excavation experience helpful, but not required
Minimum age: 18 years old
Facilities: Developed RV, tent, and cabin camping/lodging available at Flint Creek Water Park; RV hook-ups, water, bath house; fees will apply; very crude and dispersed facilities available at no charge in nearby forest; Wiggins, Gulfport, Biloxi, and D'Iberville 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 daily transportation
Nearest towns: Gulfport, 10 miles; Biloxi/D'Iberville, 12 miles; Wiggins, 19 miles
Applications due: August 27, 2018