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WPU Attends First Archeological Field School in Raleigh

Catherine Harman

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The William Peace University Anthropology Department will be exploring and conducting the Archaeological Field School that will be working with the The Friends of Oberlin Village this summer.

This African-American community prospered the most in the early 20th century, but changes like Jim Crow and the massive increase in urban development has changed tremendously over time.

Despite these hard challenges over the last few decades, several historic structures and cemeteries still remain on the property.

With help from members of The Friends of Oberlin Village as well as current residents of some of the properties, the preservation of the history will be continued.

From May 30 to June 20, a group of WPU students, as well as other volunteers,  will be digging and uncovering historic things underneath a old historic house in the Oberlin Village area of Raleigh.

The particular field school will provide the students with training in basic methods for archaeological surveying and excavation, while at the same time exploring the history and culture of the community. The field school will include archaeological investigations on one of the existing lots, specifically the John T. and Mary Turner House.

The participating students will also be hearing a guest lecture as well as attending field trips to learn more about the African-American culture in North Carolina.

This field school will be conducted by anthropology professor Vinnie Melomo, P.h.D, as well as individuals from other institutions. Students at previous field schools have explored the Rose Hill Plantation in Louisburg and Fort Caswell, among other locations.

“This year’s archaeological field school will be the sixth that WPU has held,” says Dr. Melomo.  “This year’s field school at Oberlin Village will be our first held here in Raleigh.”

Tom Beamen, M.A., R.P.A, associate professor of Anthropology at Wake Technical Community College, will also be attending the Field School.

The Friends at Oberlin Village is thrilled to announce their BBQ fundraiser to help raise money for this exciting couple of weeks. There will be music, food, and family-friendly activities.

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WPU Attends First Archeological Field School in Raleigh