Excavations at Station Terrace June 2017 A Michigan State University Archeological Excavation

The campus of Michigan State University in East Lansing Michigan has changed dramatically since its founding in 1855. Historical documents exist for many of these changes, but archeologists from Michigan State University, have been conducting excavations around campus offering additional clues into the past. This year, Dr. Lynne Goldstein, is leading an archeology field school excavating in the grassy boulevard immediate west of the student union. This is Dr. Goldstein's last field school, and I have been fortunate to have been invited by Dr. Goldstein to document this and other field schools here in East Lansing and at the site of Aztalan in southern Wisconsin.

This year's excavation is exposing an area that was a much different place at the turn of the 19th and 20th century. The area was known as Station Terrace, named after the street car line and station. Nearby was a typical Victorian house, creating a scene that is completely unlike the manicured lawns and brick buildings of the present campus.

The images that follow are part of an ongoing photographic project that I have been engaged in for the past 5 years. This project is documenting the day to day slow careful work of archeologists at work. It is focusing on the students and professionals at work, not the scientific discoveries. Whether skim shoveling, sifting dirt, or carefully troweling profiles, the work is often painstakingly slow. But the work must be carefully done to document everything being found. Pottery, glass, nails, and foundations of buildings will all add to the story of the people who lived and studied here over the past 150 plus years.

Taking careful notes is critical to the documentation of the excavation.
Skim shoveling.
Sifting dirt for small artifacts encovered by skim shoveling and troweling efforts.
Dr Goldstein (left) discussing progress of excavations.
Exposing the foundation of a building
MSU excavations at Station Terrance
2017 MSU archeology fieldschool participants

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