by Alana J. Mauger
Students who participate in the Archaeology Field School at The Speaker’s House in Trappe, Pa. this summer can earn college credits for their work, thanks to a new partnership with Montgomery County Community College.
In its sixth year, the Archaeology Field School is an intensive three-week program led by archaeologist Dr. Lydia Garver at The Speaker’s House, which was the home of Frederick Muhlenberg, first Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and first signer of the Bill of Rights. The program runs Tuesdays-Saturdays from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. from June 10–28. No previous experience is necessary, and the program is open to anyone age 15 or over. To learn more, visit speakershouse.org/archaeology or contact Lisa Minardi at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Participants will receive training in excavation techniques, record keeping, artifact identification, processing, cataloging, and classification. The Field School will focus on the area surrounding the original kitchen wing, built in the 1760s, including the foundation of the bake oven. As part of their work, students will conduct shovel tests in an area where an authentic Pennsylvania German kitchen garden is planned. Optional field trips and guest lectures will also be offered.
For the first time, students can earn three college credits for their participation in the Field School by enrolling through the College. To enroll as a guest student, visit mc3.edu/admissions, select course selection and registration, then follow the instructions for guest students. Current MCCC students and alumni should register through Web Advisor by logging into the MyMC3 Portal. The course title is Archaeology Field School (ANT 120, section AW).
Enrollment is limited to 20 participants, and preference will be given to students taking the course for credit through the College. Students will pay standard MCCC tuition and fees plus an addition $75 supply fee. Tuition information is available at mc3.edu/admissions. All participants will receive a complimentary one-year student membership in The Speaker’s House.
An optional add-on week will run June 30-July 5. Activities will focus on artifact preservation, such as cleaning, washing, sorting, labeling, cataloging, and preparation for storage. Participants will also have the opportunity to learn about historic preservation and assist with various hands-on restoration projects at The Speaker’s House.
Built in 1763 by German immigrant John Schrack, The Speaker’s House was owned by the Muhlenberg family from 1781-1803. Other notable owners include Charles Albrecht, a piano maker; Dr. Lewis Royer, physician and legislator; and Ursinus College, which used the house as a dormitory from 1924-1944. The property is also the location of a general store, built in 1782 by Frederick Muhlenberg, and is one of the few archaeological sites in the region that yields information on commercial as well as domestic activities.