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State archeologist to run summer SCRAP field school in Coös


March 12, 2014
BERLIN & JEFFERSON — Archeologists will return to work for six weeks this summer in the Androscoggin and Israel's River watersheds.

The 2014 SCRAP — State Conservation and Rescue Archaeology Program — summer field school will focus on complementary investigations at Mt. Jasper, a well-known lithic (stone) source in Berlin that has been mined for over 12,000 years, and a Paleoindian caribou hunting-and-processing encampment overlooking the Israel's River in Jefferson that likely was occupied some 11,000 or more years ago.

Field school students will engage in research at Mt. Jasper that will include documentation of workshops and surveys to expand the lithic sources.

Students will also participate in precisely laid-out excavations, a.k.a. "digs," at the Jefferson VI Paleoindian site where the region's early peoples made many of their tools and associated debris from the Mt. Jasper rhyolite.

Basic site documentation, artifact identification, data recovery and artifact identification skills will be taught. Students will also be taught basics of field mapping, including use of GPS technology and related environmental recordation.

The field school — "Mountain Mines and Valley Camps: Paleoindian Site Exploration" — has been structured as three sessions, each two weeks long (June 24 to July 5; July 8 to July 19; and July 22 to August 2). Fieldwork will take place daily on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., with occasional evening lectures.

A field camp will be established in Randolph Valley, off Route 2, where participants may live during the field school. Those electing to use this field camp must provide their own tents and camping gear. An indoor kitchen with necessary supplies will be available for meal preparation.

New Hampshire State Archaeologist Dr. Richard "Dick" Boisvert will direct all fieldwork, and instruction and the field school will conform to standards for archaeology set by the National Park Service.

It was in 1997 that Dr. Boisvert ran the first summer SCRAP field school in Jefferson, and he has returned again and again to the east-west valley that runs from Lancaster to Shelburne and has spent time in Jefferson, Randolph, Berlin and Shelburne as often has been possible in a statewide program.

Participants may obtain academic credit through Plymouth State University (PSU) at either the undergraduate or graduate levels. Each week of participation is equivalent to one credit, and students may register for two to four credits. Credit students will be evaluated on their participation in field and laboratory work, plus completion of a research project.

Costs for the field school credit students include a $50 equipment-and-supplies fee, plus tuition and registration fees. These are: Undergraduate In-State $435/credit, Non-resident $500/credit; Graduate In-State $420/credit, Out-of-State $450/credit, plus a $36 registration fee.

Individuals may participate as SCRAP volunteers. There is no fee for participation as a volunteer, but a $40 donation is requested to defray costs of supplies and instructional materials. Volunteers will receive the same instruction as credit students.

Successful completion of the fieldwork will earn SCRAP certification for Survey and Excavation Technician status.

Participants may obtain academic credit through Plymouth State University at either the undergraduate or graduate levels. Each week of participation is equivalent to one credit, and students may register for two to four credits. Credit students will be evaluated on their participation in field and laboratory work, plus completion of a research project. Costs for the field school credit students includes a $50 equipment-and-supplies fee, plus tuition and registration fees. These are: Undergraduate In-State $435/credit, Non-resident $500/credit; Graduate In-State $420/credit, Out-of-State $450/credit plus a $36 registration fee.

Individuals may participate as SCRAP volunteers. There is no fee for participation as a volunteer, but a $40 donation is requested to help defray costs of supplies and instructional materials. Volunteers will receive the same instruction as credit students. Successful completion of the fieldwork will earn SCRAP certification for Survey and Excavation Technician status.

For more information and-or to apply, contact Dr. Boisvert at Richard.Boisvert@dcr.nh.gov.

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