Savage Neck Site Excavations
George Washington-Jefferson National Forest, Virginia, 2012
by Michael R. Williams
May 21, 2012
Archeologists Receive Recognition from Forest Service Chief
(Photo: Michelle Rosado, Richard Guercin, and Mike
Madden with Tom Speaks. Photo courtesy of U.S. Forest Service)
Roanoke, Va - The Chief of the U.S.D.A. Forest Service honored four archeologists from the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests; Michael Madden, Michelle Rosado, Richard Guercin, and Holly Johanns received recognition for leading Passport in Time (PIT) project evaluations on some of Virginia’s threatened sites. These PIT projects are one of few opportunities for amateur archaeologists to perform excavations. Forest Supervisor Tom Speaks asserts, “These archeologists deserve recognition because of the Passport in Time’s longevity, its impact, and its far-reaching engagement with other state, federal, and private organizations.”
Forest Service Archaeologists engaged partners to establish a nationally recognized volunteer Passport in Time Program. Participants from all over the United States volunteer thousands of hours performing excavations, gathering data, and analyzing artifacts from significant Virginia sites including: a historic farmstead that was the scene of the Third Battle of Winchester during the Civil War, a Civil War Federal Winter Encampment, and a series of prehistoric and historic sites on the James River at Chippokes Plantation State Park.
Last month’s Passport in Time project took place at Savage Neck near Eastville, Virginia on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay. Fifty-two PIT participants contributed 1,821 volunteer hours in a week-long excavation retrieving artifacts from a prehistoric site. Artifacts are instrumental in answering research questions regarding the daily lives of prehistoric Native Americans. This site is one of the oldest sites on the Eastern Shore and is threatened to disappear from shoreline erosion, rising sea levels, and increased storm activity.
Speaks describes how the PIT partnership in Virginia has been in place for more than two decades. “The multi-agency public-private partnership collaboration creates a sustainably strong and comprehensive program the public can count on enjoying and participating in year after year.”