Amateur archaeologists needed this weekend!

SSAAM volunteers Nat Valenza and Laurie Cleveland measure a foundation for the Sourland Mountain Cultural Landscape Project in 2019 – an archaeology project led by Dr. Ian Burrow of BurrowIntoHistory, LLC. (Photo by Ian Burrow).

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to discover real historic artifacts? Here’s your chance! You won’t have to travel to an exotic destination – this site is located right here in Central New Jersey.

The Stoutsburg Sourland African American Museum (SSAAM) and the Archaeology Society of New Jersey (ASNJ) are conducting an Archaeology Dig at SSAAM’s Mt. Zion AME Church property, 189 Hollow Road, in Skillman, NJ, on Saturday, December 12, from 9:30am to 12:30pm.

The two groups are calling for volunteers to work with professional archeologists at this unique state historic-register listed site. Volunteers will be involved with light digging and sifting.

“We are thrilled to sponsor an event that will engage the community in a hands-on, safe, educational experience,” explained SSAAM’s Executive Director, Caroline Katmann.

Participants may sign up for one or more 45-minute shifts – 9:30, 10:15, 11:00, 11:15, 11:45 – by emailinginfo@ssaamuseum.org. Volunteers twelve years of age and over are welcome. Children aged 12-17 years must be accompanied by an adult.

“ASNJ has teamed with county heritage commissions and local universities in the past to engage in public archaeology programming, and is able to provide support for the interpretation of New Jersey-based artifact collections,” stated Michelle Davenport, ASNJ Member at Large and professional archaeologist.

Dr. Ian Burrow is a Registered Professional Archaeologist and SSAAM Trustee. He is working with Michael Gall, ASNJ President, to plan the dig. “This is a wonderful opportunity for SSAAM to work on a salvage archaeological dig with professional guidance from the ASNJ,” said Dr. Burrow.

All volunteers must sign a COVID-19 Assessment Form, a waiver, and a Photograph & Video Release Form before participating. All activities will follow CDC Guidelines for COVID safety. Volunteers should wear warm clothes and strong shoes or boots and be prepared to get dirty. Work gloves will be provided.

Submitted by the Stoutsburg Sourland African American Museum. For more information, please visit www.ssaamuseum.org.

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