University of Illinois and Archaeologists Researching the Pottersville Site in Edgefield, SC

May 25, 2011

EDGEFIELD – Researcher George Calfas adjusted his St. Louis Cardinals baseball cap and looked out over the hill to a warm Edgefield County sunrise. It was a stunning view. And it was only the beginning.

The grand, six-week archaeological dig meant to uncover the hidden mysteries of Edgefield’s historic Pottersville site may have set off to a rather inglorious start on Monday behind several hours of tough weed-eating and brush-clearing, but for Calfas, nine University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne students and other volunteers it was worth it.

History awaited them, but first things first.

“It’s like an orientation day today,” Calfas said of Tuesday’s field foray.

Much of the morning was consumed with a tour of the site, a brief overview of the project’s goals (to uncover more exact measurements of the site’s kiln) and general site mechanics (day-to-day scheduling and responsibilities).

However, that was hardly all planned for the day. The clock was already ticking.

“We’re going to get some digging done too,” Calfas added.

That was just fine with the University of Illinois students (some majoring in history, anthropology and other disciplines) – even though the temperature for the day would reach well into the 90s, unseasonable for them to say the least, they were here to dig.

“It’s just a nice opportunity to get out here and actually see what we’ve been reading about and discussing in class,” said senior Theartis Butler.

Kristen Moore, another senior student, agreed.

“Just being able to be here is incredible,” she said.

The Citizen News contriuted to this report

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