Mississippi - De Soto NF
Intensive Examinations of Artifacts Lab 2022
Patricia Koppel examining pottery
November 7-11, 2022
Volunteers must commit to entire session
Over the past 20 years, the De Soto Ranger District has had both prehistoric and historic excavations and several historic metal detecting surveys. The resultant artifact collections have yielded dates ranging from 1,000– 4,000 years old for the prehistoric, and 75–180 years old for the historic objects. Finding the information (artifactual data) has been the focus of all the studies, but that information has been piling up in quiet corners waiting for interested folks to help unlock their secrets. Are you that person? All of the collections will need to be cleaned, processed, analyzed, and prepared for curation, and we need your help! During the 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. Volunteers will use a regionally recognized laboratory manual – one created specifically for both the historic cultures and the prehistoric cultures of southern Mississippi – to analyze and interpret the finds. There is a lot to do and see here during your hours “off the clock,” too, so we hope to see you again this fall for another unique Mississippi archaeology lab!
Please note: all volunteers will be required to follow current COVID-19 guidelines to ensure the safety of volunteers and staff, which may include social-distancing, providing proof of qualifying vaccinations, and/or the wearing of masks. Further, due to the ever-evolving nature of the pandemic, this project could be amended, postponed, or canceled. Selected volunteers are encouraged to remain in contact with project lead(s) to stay apprised of any changes.
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 artifact identification, artifact analysis, and/or archaeological lab experience (particularly on the De Soto NF) helpful and desired, but not required
Minimum age: 18 years old
Facilities: Dispersed tent and small RV (pop-up) camping in nearby forest area at no charge (crude facilities); developed RV, tent, and cabin camping/lodging available at Paul B. Johnson State Park and other local places; water, hook-ups, bath house; fees will apply, and selected volunteers encouraged to make reservations immediately upon selection notification; 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 to and from designated meeting area
Nearest towns: Ashe Nursery, Brooklyn, 2 miles; Wiggins, 14 miles; Hattiesburg, 19 miles
Applications due: September 5, 2022