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    Valley Forge

    National Historical Park Pennsylvania

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Be an Archeologist!

Archeology volunteers screen for artifacts
Volunteers screen for artifacts at the 2010 Washington's Headquarters excavation
NPS/Loeb

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Date: June 19, 2013
Contact: Stephanie Loeb, 610-783-1013
Contact: Liza Rupp, 610-783-1028

The public is invited to participate in an archeological excavation this summer of the 1st Virginia Brigade site at Valley Forge National Historical Park. The excavation project will run Monday through Friday from June 24 through July 19, with the possibility of additional weeks depending on how the work progresses. Volunteers will have the opportunity to screen for artifacts and process them in the field laboratory. 

During the 1777-78 encampment of the Continental Army, the 1st Virginia Brigade was under the command of Brigadier General Peter Muhlenberg and was situated at the eastern extreme of the Outer Line of Defense. This area is currently the site of many of the park’s living history demonstrations. “The park is planning to renovate the area and in preparation we’ve conducted geophysical tests of the area using ground penetrating radar, electric resistivity, magnetometry and conductivity,” explained Liza Rupp, Park Archeologist. “The survey identified a number of anomalies that we would now like to ground-truth.” The excavations this summer will examine the geophysical anomalies to see if any of them are encampment-era features. 

No experience is necessary for screening. Children as young as 8 years old may participate with a parent present. All volunteers must register in advance. Information about volunteer qualifications, safety information, and the online volunteer application are available on volunteer.gov. Contact Liza Rupp with project questions at liza_rupp@nps.gov or call 610-783-1028.  

Did You Know?

Sketch by Michael Panno of a gracile sabertooth cat, Smilodon gracilis

Port Kennedy Cave, located in what is now Valley Forge NHP, produced one of the most significant assemblages of Pleistocene fossils in North America. 14 plants and 48 animals are represented, including wolverine, Wheatley's ground sloth, long-nosed peccary, Hay's tapir, and lesser short-faced bear. More...