Archaeology In Action

AIA flyer 15

AIA flyer 2015

Get Involved in Ohio Archaeology!

Sign-up for Archaeology in Action

Join Museum archaeologists in the excavation of a 4000-year old Native American settlement in Sheffield Village, Ohio. Participants may enroll in one to four, week-long sessions. No experience necessary!

Weekly sessions; Monday through Friday; June 15 through July 10, 2015, 8:30 am to 4 pm each day, rain or shine.

Additional information about Archaeology In Action and other programs can be found here:

Invitation to Play in the Dirt

labOkay, it may not be exactly playing in the dirt, but it is still an invitation. The regular lab season for Firelands Archaeological Research Center will soon be coming to a close as we get ready for the summer dig season. But don’t worry, there’s still time to join in and get some hands-on experience in the lab. For more information about how you can volunteer at the lab or even for field work during this summer’s dig season, contact

To find out more about Firelands Archaeological Research Center, click here.


Redmond&Gen printed case2.inddWe would also like to take this time to congratulate Brian G. Redmond (and his co-editor Robert A. Genheimer) for their work on editing the recently released, Building the Past – Prehistoric Wooden Post Architecture in the Ohio Valley-Great Lakes.

5th Annual Ohio Archaeology Dinner

Firelands Archaeological Research Center (FARC) Announces the 5th Annual Ohio Archaeology Dinner on Thursday, October 9, 2014 at 6:30 PM at the Amherst Sandstone Village Grange Hall located at 763 Milan Avenue, Amherst, Ohio 44001.

Carrie Sowden Nautical Archaeologist

Carrie Sowden
Nautical Archaeologist

Special Guest Speaker: Ms. Carrie Sowden, Nautical Archaeologist. Carrie is the Archaeological Director of the Peachman Lake Erie Shipwreck Research Center of the Great Lakes Historical Society and a MAST (Maritime Archaeology Survey Team) coordinator.

Presentation: “The Anthony Wayne: Fact and Fiction” The Anthony Wayne was a side-wheel steamer that sank in 1850 in Lake Erie near Vermilion, Ohio, killing 38 people. Instantly destroyed by boiler explosions, the vessel was enroute from Toledo, OH to Buffalo, NY. Were there thousands of dollars of gold coins on board? Why did the new boilers explode? Join us as we explore what is known, what is believed, and what facts have emerged from the archaeology field work.

The Anthony Wayne

The Anthony Wayne

Dinner: A unique dinner will be provided that includes many native foods, prepared in a modern, gourmet style.

The FARC lab, also located at the Amherst Sandstone Village, will be open from 5:30 – 6:30 PM before the event. Visitors can see many diverse artifacts that reveal the history of the people that have lived in our area for centuries. Tickets for this event are $18.00 per person and include the lecture, dinner and beverages. Seating is limited so please make reservations early!

Please contact Mr. James O. Barnes at 440-452-9552 for reservations or CLICK HERE to print out a Ticket order form (All tickets must be pre-paid in advance—No doors sales available).

Firelands Archaeological Research Center (FARC)
5th Annual Ohio Archaeology Dinner
Thursday, October 9, 2014 beginning at 5:30 PM
Amherst Sandstone Village, Grange Hall
763 Milan Avenue, Amherst, Ohio 44001
Mailing Address:
Firelands Archaeological Research Center
P.O. Box 1013
Mr. James O. Barnes 440-452-9552

Discovery of Historic Midden at the Burrell House

Over the last few weeks, FARC continued its investigation of historic remains in the front yard of the Burrell House.


Today’s session exposed a dense concentration of brick and limestone fragments, nails, and a few historic ceramics buried some 30 cm (1 foot) deep.  This historic midden appears to be very old construction debris, possibly from the original building of the Burrell House.


The brick and other materials are associated with a thick clay layer of uncertain origin.  Below this layer is a stratum of dark, loamy soil containing prehistoric flint flakes and fire-cracked rock.  We plan to explore these interesting features further next Sunday (7/20).

New Field Project at the Burrell Farm Site

First phase of shovel-testing in front of the Burrell house.

First phase of shovel-testing in front of the Burrell house.

Following our quarterly meeting on June 1, FARC began a new field project in conjunction with the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and the Sheffield Village Historical Society.    The first phase of this work involves a shovel-test survey of the front yard of the historic Burrell house located in the French Creek Reservation of the Lorain County Metro Parks.   The Burrells were one of the founding families of Sheffield Township in Lorain County, Ohio.   The current brick home was constructed around 1820 but, according to family history, a cabin was initially occupied for a few years.   Few details of this structure are known, but it is said to have existed somewhere in the front yard.   In 1987, archaeologists from the University of Akron carried out test excavations in the front yard and uncovered brick fragments, nails, animal bones and other nineteenth century midden deposits.  On May 13, this area was surveyed by Dr. Jarrod Burks using a magnetic gradiometer and ground-penetrating radar (GPR).  The GPR results seemed to show the locations of at least two of U of Akron’s 2x2m units.  On June 1, FARC volunteers excavated four shovel-test (50×50 cm) units across this area, and three of the shovel-tests appear to have relocated  the old Akron units, their bottoms lined with plastic.  Although not many artifacts were found in these units, the information is extremely important for understanding past disturbances to the site and where previous excavations have taken place.

1980s plastic lining the bottom of an old excavation unit.

1980s plastic lining the bottom of an old excavation unit.

Much more was found in the westernmost shovel-test unit, located closest to the house.   Here, in an area not disturbed by Akron’s excavations, excavators Eddie H. and Sharon D. discovered a 25cm-thick historic midden that contained an animal bone cut with a metal saw, square nails, a shard of blue transfer-print ware, and other objects.  Beneath this stratum was what at first appeared to be a culturally sterile clay lens, but upon removal they exposed another dark, soil midden of some kind.   They had just exposed this lowermost layer when we had to quit for the day.  In just a half a day of excavation, we accomplished quite a bit.  We will return to this area on our next visit to the site to see what this deep midden might be.