Posted March 29, 2018
Ohio History Connection Externship Journal
When I arrived at 9 on my third day, Linda gave me my first task. I had to look through a thick stack of sheets containing a list of artifacts in a particular delivered collection and underline each missing artifact with a pencil and ruler. To give an idea of how many artifacts were listed and how many of that vast total amount were missing, it took me three hours of underlining to make it through the packet. After that, it was time for lunch.
After lunch, Linda and I took inventory of another shipment of artifacts. We found that unfortunately, many of the artifacts were missing. Hopefully the artifacts were set aside somewhere for safekeeping and will be found and curated soon.
After taking inventory, I worked on a final set of artifacts to be sorted, labelled, and rebagged. After finishing this project, I took a picture with Linda and we chatted for quite a bit before I had to leave for the last time. She showed me some pictures taken at a project at the Fort Ancient Earthworks The massive excavation has spanned many years, and the development of new technology over time have influenced the techniques used on the dig. Imprints in the dirt layers show that a large circle of posts supported by piles of stones used to stand upright in the ground at the site. Archeologists can also use these dirt layers to see remains of floors that have been burned multiple times over. What was most intriguing to me was a circular area of burned earth. Archeologists found that the earth was not from the Fort Ancient site. In other words, ancient people brought the burned earth from another location for some unknown reason. The mound of burned dirt had a circular ring-shaped depression surrounding it, showing that it had been circled by walking humans many times over, perhaps in some sort of ritual.
Although I only spent three days at the Ohio History Center, I learned a lot about history and the amount of work that goes into collecting and displaying artifacts at a museum. I am very grateful to Ohio History Connection and my wonderful host Linda Pansing for the valuable experience.