ECU archaeology students dig history in Brunswick Town

WINNABOW — East Carolina University summer field school archaeology students are back at Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson State Historic Site for a third dig.

During their first dig, students helped to excavate around an 18th century wharf that had been partially exposed in part by erosion. Last year, they excavated the base of a colonial bake oven on a rental property that helped export bread out of town.

The site along the Cape Fear River consists of the Colonial ruins of Brunswick Town and Confederate Civil War Fort Anderson.

Dr. Charles Ewen of the East Carolina University anthropology department has brought the students from Greenville to Winnabow through June 17 to dig a site believed to be the Colonial-era Edward Moseley House, which hadn’t been excavated since archaeologist Stanley South came to study Brunswick Town from 1958 to 1968.The team also excavated a nearby area believed to be where South last excavated and recorded finding part of a foundation of a building.  

“We’re doing the archaeology of archaeology, so then we can pick up where he left off,” Ewen said.  

On Saturday, May 27, the site held an Archaeology Open House for others to experience the archaeological process firsthand.

In addition to watching students excavate what they hoped to be where South dug last, visitors got to see Ewen and his students digging in a Colonial-era trash heap on Moseley’s property. Items found thus far include ceramics, slipware, glass and metal. Ewen said students were also finding as much material right outside of the trash pit as there is within it. He also had students planning on working in the Fort Anderson area and other students working at an 18th Century cemetery in Sunset Beach.

“This is a very diversified and busy field school,” Ewen said.

One student in the field Saturday, 22-year-old senior Leangei Gomez of Raleigh, said her initial love of archaeology came from a much more ancient…

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