INFORMATION

The truth is, the life of a real archaeologist is not like what we see on the movie screen. Over 200 people and children got to be archaeologists for the day at an Open House of the Weldin Ruins Archaeological Site, which was hosted by the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) on Saturday, August 23, 2003. The public was able to tour the site, view the archaeological excavations, examine the artifacts retrieved from the site and speak with the archaeologists. The Weldin Ruins Archaeological is being excavated as part of the Blue Ball Properties Project.

Imagine what life was like in 1760. Can you? The archaeologists at the Weldin Plantation are pretty much like detectives of the past studying clues left by people who used to live there to unlock history's mysteries. The excitement and adventure is in "connecting the dots" with the pieces of stuff they find.

"I'm not that big on history or geography, but this really got my attention," said Caroline Godsell, age 13, from Wilmington. "It was really fun and I got to see some cool artifacts."

The Weldin Plantation Archaeological Site is a farmstead dating from the early 1700s to the early 1900s. The farm was both owner and tenant occupied throughout history. Archaeological excavations at the site may provide information concerning differences in how people lived and farmed throughout different periods. The Weldin Site was always a farm, but the families who occupied it did a lot of other things like blacksmithing, wood working, weaving and other things to survive. The Weldin Plantation Site is unusual because there are extensive above ground foundations, some as high as ten feet. The archaeologists have also found datable artifacts such as broken pieces of ceramic, glass and nails.

"Fascinating site with rich historical connection to important area families," said Jean Raleigh, who attended the Open House. "Thank you for sharing this with us."

Boy Scout Tour This is the fifth open house, which will be open to the general public. Several educational groups got the chance to visit the site over the past few months including Wesley College, Penn State, Iron Hill day camp, and the Cub Scouts. A great effort to involve the community in the project remains at the forefront of the project's success.