Curious adults and children can dig for artifacts and gather around professionals as they sift through ceramics, glass, bones and shells brought by York County’s earliest inhabitants.
The artifact washing program called “Wash and Talks” is a year-round activity at New Quarter Park, and takes place on the second Friday of every month.
Twice a year, in the spring and fall, Fairfield Foundation professionals from the Center for Archaeology, Preservation and Education, invite the community to attend Public Dig Days at the park.
Outdoor Recreation Supervisor Michael Wilcox said the events allow participants to examine fragments associated with Native Americans and 17th-century settlers, as well as the 18th-century inhabitants of the manor overlooking Queens Creek.
“They’ve been focusing on one specific area for the last couple of years,” Wilcox said. “They find anything from arrowheads from the Native Americans or anything up to the 1700s and further on.”
Park interpreter Sara Lewis cleans and organizes the artifacts through the Wash and Talk program.
“It’s about the history of Yorktown,” Wilcox said. “It has a lot of information about the type of lifestyles these people were living, and then also this was a slave community, so it gives us a fresh take on what their life situations were.”
Both events are free. The Fairfield Foundation requires registration for the public digs, which can only accommodate 10 people twice a day. The park recommends guests register for monthly Wash and Talk sessions, as well, to ensure enough seating.
Want to go?
What: “Wash and Talk” and Public Dig Days
Where: New Quarter Park
When: Wash and Talk sessions are year-round from 10 a.m. to noon every second Friday of the month. The Public Dig Days are 9:30 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. April 25 to 27 with two sessions each day.
How: Both events are free. To attend Public Dig Days, registration is required through the Field Foundation at email@example.com. Wash and Talk registration through York County Parks, Recreation and Tourism is recommended by calling 757-890-3513.
Martin can be reached at (757)-243-3685, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @SaraRoseMartin.