Students Dig Into History

Stone County fourth graders quickly got the hang of digging and sifting dirt in their search for clues to the lifestyle of Native Americans several thousand years ago.

"We're trying to find stuff the Indians left. Or where they slept or where they lived or something," Fourth Grader Travis Burdick said.

"You get to do stuff with equipment. And you don't have to sit in a chair and just write. You can move around and walk around and stuff," Fourth Grader Stephen Rester said.

G. Bondar taught archaeology at the college level in New York. He enjoys teaching these younger students about the world of discovery. Finding flakes for instance - small pieces left behind by Native Americans two thousand years ago.

"They would knock off flakes from pieces of stone. We call it percussion flaking. Hitting one rock with another and chips fall off. And that's what most of us are finding," Bondar said.

Hunter Phillips found his share. He's learning about the different layers.

"We've got to dig down as far as you can. The farther you go, the more things you find," Phillips said. "I found a few chips and she found a few chips. And a lot of charcoal."

They'll leave the excavation site with a new understanding of ancient history and an appreciation for those who help uncover it.

The adults at this week's dig are part of the US Forest Service "Passport in Time" program. Volunteers can sign-up to participate in similar projects around the country.