A Garden Discovery
by Jerry Bishop
|Central States Archaeological Societies 2008
In May 2006 I decided to finally move the garden. For as long
as I can remember, the garden had been in the same spot and it was time to
make a change. I’m sure glad I did, for underneath the soil of the
garden was a big surprise. As soon as I started moving dirt I noticed some
interesting rocks. Up to that point,
I had never ever even given the previous inhabitants of my land a thought.
All that changed as I removed rock after rock from the garden. Not knowing
much about my finds, I attended an artifact show, my first ever. Although
I thought I had found something, I still wasn’t sure. Imagine my
surprise when those I showed my finds to immediately identified them. Next
I visited the University of Wisconsin and shared my story.
In September 2006 they sent a full team led by Paula Porubcan, a senior
archaeologist for Midwest Archaeological Research Services. They uncovered
more artifacts and dug up a lot of ground in a systematic way.
Much to my dismay, they concluded in their report that the artifacts were
brought to my property in the 1840’s from farms in the area and included
in a decorative rock border for the garden. Through the years they had become
buried under 10 inches of soil and it was I who uncovered them 150 years
They said what I had were pestles, adzes, celts and hammerstones, mostly
from the Archaic Period. There were also some crude discoidals. I’ve
since loaned 36 pieces to the Geneva Lake Museum, where they are on display.
I’m not fully in agreement with the archaeologists’ report.
I think there may be more on my property to find, and I’m just starting
to look. Finding things from that long ago has amazed me, and I hope to find
much more in the years to come.
Copyright © C.S.A.S.I.