Beginning September 16, 2015 the ARCH 340 Field Techniques and Methods in Archaeology class began digging at Tin City under the direction of Dr. Alan Kaiser of the University of Evansville’s Archaeology Department. Currently consisting of mainly archaeology students, excitement for the beginning of the excavation was widely expressed.
After World War 2, housing shortages became a problem as veterans returned for a university education. The University of Evansville solved this issue by buying barracks and setting them up on campus. The residents eventually named this area Tin City. In 1961, the barracks were destroyed and interest in Tin City did not resurface until 2003, when the Archaeology Department began searching for the site. Now, Tin City is continuing its excavation.
We spent the semester learning about the field of archaeology by participating in fieldwork conducted on campus at the University of Evansville. The goals of this class are to locate any remains, whether it be structures or artifacts, and based upon the finds learn more about the lives of the residents. The class may or may not find anything during fieldwork, but the importance of the skills we will be using this semester cannot be overstated.
The class learned how to use the different tools for archaeological survey and excavation, how to properly record information, pre-excavation materials and techniques that American archaeologists use, and basic artifact conservation. Besides methods and techniques, the ethical responsibilities for archaeologists are established and challenges faced in the field will be discussed. Through fieldwork and study, students will learn about Evansville’s cultural history while hopefully contributing to what is known based upon this semester’s fieldwork.