Digging For Stories: Plymouth, MA

When the Plymouth Antiquarian Society put out a call last week for help at an archeological dig they've begun in Plymouth Center, I said: Yes, please! Digging for history is probably the EXACT way I'd like to spend any Sunday afternoon, so we jumped in the car and headed south once again to grab some shovels. (Thank you to husband! His sifting skills were much appreciated <3.) They are still working and needing volunteers to anyone who might be local.

We met Donna Curtin, curator at P.A.S, when we arrived and she set us out on a hunt for 2 types of evidence to prove this storage shed was a Slave Dwelling. We worked under the direction of local archeologist Craig Chartier (director of the Plymouth Archeological Discovery Project). Having met the rest of our digging team: Joyce and Noelle Poremski and Robin Tozzi (all lovely and welcoming and connected to PAS as well), we set out to find chopped bone and shell bead evidence...here let's let Donna explain more (by Rich Harbert via Wicked Local):


Matching soil colors... with a soil palette. Be still my heart!!

Scratching my history-itch!

Once all necessary evidence is found, they'll receive funding to protect the site and hopefully turn it into something educational too. No bone or beads for us, but we DID find what Mr. Cartier believed was a stem piece of a 17th century clay pipe, as seen below here in the Pilgrim Hall exhibit we found later on.

That's the 1600's, folks, right in the palm of your hand...

A Boston Globe reporter, Constance Lindner, who had done some archeology herself, was there and we discussed the visceral feeling...the feeling of direct connection to people and lives long ago.

I'm always thinking of the stories buried right underneath our feet, how history activates legend in the present. History will always provoke art because it is the ultimate story. It is not in a dusty book that has a beginning, middle, and end. It is very much alive, everywhere we walk. Nothing is “lost” to history, history is now, in us, in physicality and in spirit. I think you feel that especially when you're digging it up...you invoke the big story arc when you dig.

It's something that will probably always keep me fascinated, keep me drawing, writing, searching, learning, sifting through, and wondering...

Matt's Blue Blinds Bakery reward...