University of Lynchburg students started a new archaeological dig at Historic Sandusky Saturday.
The students worked along with archaeologists from Hurt & Proffitt, an engineering firm with a lab at Sandusky, and history professors. With the new dig, they are looking for the lost smokehouse that once served the historic home but was demolished long ago.
The students dug in the ground and sifted through dirt to find artifacts. “Everyone was excited over whatever you found, whether it was a piece of brick or shards of porcelain,” Emma Gordon ’23 said.
Gordon added that the individuals leading the dig were extremely helpful. “I had never done something like this before and there was always someone to explain how and why something is done,” she said.
While Gordan is minoring in archaeology, other students were crossing academic lines to participate. Emmanuel Hernandez Mellad ’23 is a biomedical science major, but he is interested in “seeing first-hand pieces of the past.”
He was impressed with the scientific work that goes into archaeology. “Being able to see how artifacts are studied and preserved was one of my favorite parts of the whole experience,” he said. “In the movies you always see a dig when a person is about to discover some mysterious artifact. So seeing what happens before that and all the planning that has to go into even a small dig was really informative.”
As the dig continues, students will look for any artifacts, but especially anything that might reveal where the smokehouse’s foundation once stood. “I was very proud to participate in the beginning stages of this project,” Gordon said. “I hope to see it through all stages.”
Historic Sandusky was built around 1808, and it is best known as the location that Union troops seized and used as headquarters during the Battle of Lynchburg in 1864. Today it is a house museum owned and operated by the University of Lynchburg, which uses it for a learning laboratory in history and archaeology.