2015 Abbe Field School

The 2015 Abbe Field School kicked off on Sunday, August 2, offering a first-hand experience in an archaeological dig. This year's dig is excavating the Tranquility Farm Site, first explored by the Abbe Museum in the 1930s, and again during a series of field school excavations in the 1990s.

This year's excavations will build on previous exciting discoveries from the farm's site, which include a house floor and hearth feature with a radiocarbon date of 1240 ± 70 BP; the identification of burned plant remains from the hearth including raspberry, chenopodium, smartweed, wild rye and dewberry; and an assemblage of dentate-stamped pottery assigned to the Middle Ceramic Period, 2,100 - 800 years ago.

Fieldwork is complemented by lab sessions and lectures that give participants a broad understanding of archaeology and Maine's Native American heritage.

Dave Halliwell and Tim Spahr checking their paperwork.

Field School participants, Doug Sharpe and Anju Roy, examine their screen.

Abbe Museum Educator Jen Heindel uncovered some impressive pot shards on her first day!

Some participants get more into their work than others. Mary Ellen Sharp is learning what happens when you scratch your face while digging. She beats out Team Supervisor Kate Pontbriand (far left), who was our dirtiest face winner last year.

Michele Kirchner found a gem of a spear point on Day 2.

Tess Lichtmam consults with field school super volunteer Dee Lustusky on what she is uncovering.

Kate Pontbriand, field supervisor-in-training, consults with Art Spiess about the stratigraphy in the pit she is overseeing.

Kate Pontbriand shared her various archaeological field experiences with participants on Day 3.