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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Bellamy Mansion invites public to ‘Ask an Archaeologist’

A Royal Crown cola syrup jug found in June by the Public Archaeology Corps during a dig at an old home on Princess St. Courtesy photo.
A Royal Crown cola syrup jug found in June by the Public Archaeology Corps during a dig at an old home on Princess St. Courtesy photo.

WILMINGTON – Are you interested in learning more about archaeology? Have an artifact you’d like inspected by a professional archaeologist?

On Saturday, locals will get a chance to do just that at the Bellamy Mansion and Museum during “Ask an Archaeologist.” Members of the non-profit Public Archaeology Corps will be at the historic mansion in downtown Wilmington from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday to talk about archaeological sites, especially in non-public areas.

“We’re going to teach people what archaeology is and instill the value of stewardship in them,” said Jon Schleier, executive director of Public Archaeology Corps. “Our primary focus is to inform the public about archaeology, particularly on private land because there’s no protection for them.”

Schleier said there are a lot of myths he and the panel of Public Archaeology Corps executive board members are looking to dispel. That board includes University of North Carolina – Wilmington archaeology professors Nora Reber and Scott Simmons, UNCW history professor Chris Fonvielle, retired county librarian and archivist Beverly Tetterton and archaeologist Matthew Hillman.

“A site doesn’t have to be anything special – it could be a scattered pile of bricks or something along those lines,” Schleier said. “There’s a misconstruction there that if you have a site on your property, they government is going to try to take it away, and that’s just not true.”

Though no digs will be occurring on Saturday, Schleier said education is the main goal of the event, which could become a regular thing as the young non-profit continues to grow and expand its work in southeastern North Carolina.

“We always try to leave something for the public, knowledge-wise,” said Schleier, whose group has worked with historic sites such as the Burgwin – Wright House in downtown Wilmington. “It’s important for the public at large to know about archaeology because of archaeology’s affect on history.”

For more information on the event, visit Public Archaeology Corp’s Facebook page. To learn more about the organization, visit its website.

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