Students, Local Community Participate in Archaeology Dig

Students enrolled in Wesleyan's "Middletown Materials" class let an archeological excavation April 14-15 at the Beman Triangle on campus. The Beman Triangle is the land between Vine Street, Cross Street, and Knowles Ave., where homes have existed since the early 19th century. Pictured, teaching assistant Miriam Manda '12 helps local resident Mark with setting up a site.

Daisy Chen '12 and Ama Essuman '15 use trowels and dust pans to scratch through the excavation site. Leverett Beman, son of the first Pastor of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Zion Church in Middletown, had the land divided into plots by a surveyor in 1847, and sold these plots off to other African-American families.

Elizabeth Brown, a high school student from Berlin, Conn. gets advice from Sarah Croucher, assistant professor of anthropology, assistant professor of archaeology, assistant professor of feminist, gender, and sexuality studies. Croucher teaches the "Middletown Materials" course.

Sarah Croucher sifts through the dirt with local volunteer Lucia Labella. The group is searching for evidence of the kinds of things residents bought and had around the house, as well as artifacts showing what and how they ate, such as plates, bowls, cups and glassware.

Daisy Chen labels findings with volunteer Joaney Campbell. By day two of the dig, the group discovered clay pipes, oyster shells, old ceramics, beads and glass.

Volunteer Morgan Thorson, Elizabeth Brown and Sarah Croucher trowel their way through the site. Croucher met Thorston through the Center for the Arts and they're discussing potentially doing a module together in the future. (Photos by Cynthia Rockwell)

Croucher will lead another Beman Triangle dig on April 28-29. The public is welcome to attend.