CAP Survey: Continuing West Circle Drive

On Wednesday and Thursday of this week, Campus Archaeology will be excavating along the North side of West Circle Drive, across from Morrill Hall. As part of the West Circle Steam Tunnel Reconstruction project, the crews are going to be redoing a number of the sidewalks within the Sacred Space, and pulling up the roads. As they remove the concrete, CAP will be going in a doing survey of what is underneath, and what is around.

Removal of sidewalks is a great way to find archaeological material. When historic material is buried beneath the ground in open spaces, it can easily be disturbed by human or natural forces. However, when sidewalks are put down, the historic material is protected. It was during a sidewalk removal that CAP discovered the foundations of College Hall beneath Beaumont Tower. While we don’t think we will find any buildings during this excavation, it is highly likely that we will discover a variety of historic artifacts from the early campus. So far, survey of West Circle Drive has revealed small pockets of historical material, like window glass, ceramics, nails and brick. As we get closer in our survey to the area where the 1850’s campus once stood, we find more of this material.

This is all part of an extensive dig we have been doing of the West Circle area. Not only are we protecting the historic campus by removing archaeological material that might be destroyed, but we are also gaining a better knowledge of the area. At the end of this large survey we will be able to have a good idea of what was in this area, and create more dynamic maps.

Come out and visit us Wednesday and Thursday south of the Union! If you can’t come out, you can always follow our twitter feed to see where we are, who is digging and updates on what we are finding: @capmsu



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