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Digging up the past

Participants in the Archaeology Day Camp at Greenwood Furnace State Park are digging in and coming up with important clues to the area’s history.The village of Greenwood Furnace was built around the historic iron-making company, Greenwood Works, which was in operation from 1834 to 1904.Approximately 23 camp participants will continue the archaeological dig this week, near the second stack of the Greenwood Furnace. Past digs have unearthed evidence suggesting that at one time, the charcoal-fueled furnace was converted to coal.“Archaeology is the search for information. That’s what we are doing here,” said Paul Fagley, the park’s cultural educator. Later, comparing the process to the television show “CSI,” Fagley added, “It’s ‘CSI’ history, discovering a series of clues. Instead of solving a crime, you are solving a mystery. (The clues) don’t make a theory, but rather shows that you might be on the right track.”Last week, the crew of campers, made up of young teens and teachers, removed rock and soil, referred to as overburden, to get down to the various structures surrounding the furnace. As Fagley moved around the site, campers showed him artifacts such as iron hooks, firebrick and a piece of coal. “Part of our programming is providing education to the public. This is hands-on history,” Fagley said. “The kids show me everything they find; they get very excited.”

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