March 21, 2012

Local group will sponsor a week of archaeological events

By RUTH MORGAN

There is no time like the present to dig into the past! That is exactly what the Croatoan Archaeological Society is doing. Their goal? To find out as much as they can about the history of Hatteras Island, once called Croatoan, and share it with whoever is interested. 

The Croatoan Archaeological Society, or CAS, was founded by island native Scott Dawson and his wife, Maggie. The board of directors is made up of local folks who live and work on Hatteras. The group partnered with the University of Bristol, England, for an ongoing archaeological research project right here on Hatteras.

The CAS has been working for the last few years to uncover the history of Hatteras and keep it preserved on the island. The members of CAS have helped sponsor professional digs since November of 2009, when test pits conducted by Professor Mark Horton and Louisa Pittman, MA, both from the University of Bristol, showed an amazing history here that was simply buried beneath us.

CAS not only assisted with the digs, but helped to preserve artifacts and protect the owners’ interest in them. The CAS has digs planned for this spring while Professor Horton and his students are here to help work on the Croatoan Archaeological Project. With him, the professor brings about a dozen archaeology students.

All artifacts found on a dig belong to the property owners. The CAS want artifacts found here on Hatteras to remain on the island. Many property owners have loaned or donated their artifacts to CAS to display at the library in Hatteras, as well as the Hatteras Histories and Mysteries Museum, temporarily located inside the Shipwreck Grill in Buxton.
The CAS has events coming up to get the community of Hatteras Island involved and let people know what they have found in past archaeological digs. Check out the list below and see what might interest you.

If the actual digs themselves peak your interest, you have to become a member of CAS and go through a safety course before you will be allowed on a project dig, so consider joining. The University of Bristol and CAS will be digging March 24-April 6 in Buxton, with possible test sites in the other villages.

Everyone is invited for an Archaeology Roadshow, hosted by the Kinnakeet Civic Association, at 6 p.m. on Friday, March 30, at the Avon Firehouse. Professor Horton will be there to talk about what has been found during previous digs here on Hatteras Island. The professor will also examine and help identify artifacts anyone brings with them. So make your favorite side dish to share, grab your old bottles, arrowheads, or pottery you found while out exploring the island, and head to the firehouse for a potluck dinner.

There will be an Archaeology Workshop for Kids at the Fessenden Center in Buxton on Saturday, March 31. Archaeologists visiting from England have fun and excitement planned for children ages 6 and up as the children get to dig and sift in a real archaeology test pit, then clean and document their findings. Future archaeologists, come prepared to get dirty! A registration fee of $10 per child may be paid through any Dare County Parks and Recreation Center.

An Evening with the Archaeologists is scheduled for Sunday, April 1, at 7 p.m. at the Shipwreck Grill. This will be an evening of dinner, dessert, and talks of digging. The students and archaeologists from England will be available to talk artifacts and history with all you history buffs. Tickets are on sale in advance for $20 per person at the Shipwreck Grill or by calling 216-7118.

A Final Presentation of Archaeological Findings is being hosted by the CAS at the Cape Hatteras Anglers Club on Thursday, April 5. The potluck dinner will begin at 6 p.m., so bring a side dish or dessert. For the first time, Mark Horton will be addressing the public about his research on Hatteras Island from 2009 to present. Come out and hear what history was found on an island once called Croatoan.

For information on how to join CAS or information on the history of Hatteras Island, e-mail CAS at [email protected] or call 252-216-7118.


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