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Acadia Lifelong Learning class finds pieces of local history in Starr's Point

<p>Aaron Taylor, Acadia University student Candina Doucette and Taylor’s daughter look over artifacts found at the Planter’s Barracks excavation.</p>
<p>Aaron Taylor, Acadia University student Candina Doucette and Taylor’s daughter look over artifacts found at the Planter’s Barracks excavation.</p>

STARR’S POINT - A musket ball, an old button and two belt buckles were unearthed recently in Starr’s Point - an unusual find. Ceramics tend to be uncovered most often.

Participants in an Acadia Lifelong Learning (ALL) class got to explore local history through a hands-on archaeological excavation in Starr’s Point.

The class, led by archaeologist Aaron Taylor, conducted the excavation on the north side of the Planter’s Barracks Inn. The house was once known as Fort Hughes.

Taylor calls the property “a great little treasure. We appreciate the owners permission to research on this property.”

Taylor enjoys researching the area's layered past. He has led digs elsewhere on the property, finding a midden, or rubbish site, to the south, and also on the grounds of Prescott House two years ago.

Through a combination of classroom work and a five-day field school, participants learned the basic skills of excavation, artifact identification and interpretation.

The items the class found, Taylor said, are “yard scatter” and not from a midden.

Acadia University student Candina Doucette, who has studied with Taylor previously, enjoys trying to piece together just what discoveries mean.

“As you go down, it’s a kind of time travel,” he said.

Taylor said the two-foot by five-foot excavation was handled slowly as each layer was sifted and documented. He hopes to return to the property this year and bring some geo-physical tools.

“You have to be very precise,” Doucette added.

The ALL participants included retirees, business owners and students like Doucette.

While working as a professional archaeologist, Taylor, who lives in Sheffield Mills, is a doctoral student at Dalhousie University. His thesis is focused on sea-level rise and its impact on archaeological sites in Nova Scotia. 

Did you know?

The Planters Barracks was constructed for the New England Planters in 1778 as military barracks during the American Revolution. It has a provincial heritage designation.

The building was erected close to the militia parade grounds and served as a temporary residence for militiamen who came from a distance to train. It was constructed in three phases over 18 years.

Participants in an Acadia Lifelong Learning (ALL) class got to explore local history through a hands-on archaeological excavation in Starr’s Point.

The class, led by archaeologist Aaron Taylor, conducted the excavation on the north side of the Planter’s Barracks Inn. The house was once known as Fort Hughes.

Taylor calls the property “a great little treasure. We appreciate the owners permission to research on this property.”

Taylor enjoys researching the area's layered past. He has led digs elsewhere on the property, finding a midden, or rubbish site, to the south, and also on the grounds of Prescott House two years ago.

Through a combination of classroom work and a five-day field school, participants learned the basic skills of excavation, artifact identification and interpretation.

The items the class found, Taylor said, are “yard scatter” and not from a midden.

Acadia University student Candina Doucette, who has studied with Taylor previously, enjoys trying to piece together just what discoveries mean.

“As you go down, it’s a kind of time travel,” he said.

Taylor said the two-foot by five-foot excavation was handled slowly as each layer was sifted and documented. He hopes to return to the property this year and bring some geo-physical tools.

“You have to be very precise,” Doucette added.

The ALL participants included retirees, business owners and students like Doucette.

While working as a professional archaeologist, Taylor, who lives in Sheffield Mills, is a doctoral student at Dalhousie University. His thesis is focused on sea-level rise and its impact on archaeological sites in Nova Scotia. 

Did you know?

The Planters Barracks was constructed for the New England Planters in 1778 as military barracks during the American Revolution. It has a provincial heritage designation.

The building was erected close to the militia parade grounds and served as a temporary residence for militiamen who came from a distance to train. It was constructed in three phases over 18 years.

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