Kentucky Heritage Council
Programs, tours and “Random Acts of Archaeology” will highlight Kentucky Archaeology Day observances Saturday; Frankfort events planned from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Fort Hill
FRANKFORT, Ky. – The Frankfort Department of Parks, Recreation and Historic Sites and the Kentucky Heritage Council/State Historic Preservation Office are joining more than 100 organizations in the United States, Canada and around the world to celebrate National Archaeology Day on Saturday, Oct. 20. This second annual event is presented by the Archaeological Institute of America to promote the thrill of archaeological discovery.
Tours and educational programs will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Leslie W. Morris Park on Fort Hill in Frankfort. Activities are free and open to people of all ages and interests. At noon and 1 p.m., Dr. Kary Stackelbeck, Kentucky Heritage Council archaeologist, will discuss the importance of archaeology and what it can tell us about past human activity at Fort Hill and elsewhere around the state. Planning for this event is in conjunction with the Kentucky Archaeological Survey, an educational partnership between the Kentucky Heritage Council and the University of Kentucky Department of Anthropology.
The noon presentation will be a general discussion of archaeology basics, and how researchers can use artifacts to interpret the lives of previous generations of Kentuckians – how people lived, what they ate, where they gathered and other details about their daily lives. Participants will have an opportunity to examine actual artifacts.
At 1 p.m., archaeological investigations at Fort Hill and what they reveal about the park will be discussed. Although only limited research has been done at the site, artifacts and features have been found relating to the Civil War fortification as well as a later historic farmstead. According to Dr. Stackelbeck, great potential exists to learn more about the park’s history through future archaeological investigations.
“What I think is interesting is that people have this perception that archaeology only takes place in faraway, exotic places, yet it happens every day right here in our own backyard,” she said. “Kentucky is rich with archaeological sites, and you don’t have to go very far to see the results in terms of how archaeology impacts our understanding of our own history. We have learned many things about our past, beginning with how the earliest hunter-gathers lived here some 12,000 years ago.”
“This weekend is the first step toward achieving our long-term archaeology goals for the park, as we want to use archaeology to help us interpret more of the park than just the Civil War era,” said Mike West, Fort Hill site manager.
Other National Archaeology Day events in Kentucky will take place at Camp Nelson Civil War Heritage Park in Jessamine County and Wickliffe Mounds State Historic Site in Ballard County. To further commemorate the occasion, the Kentucky Heritage Council is also encouraging professional and amateur archaeologists across the state to commit a “Random Act of Archaeology” by creating opportunities to educate people about the practice of archaeology and interesting facts of Kentucky’s past that have been uncovered through the process. For examples, visit http://heritage.ky.gov/kas/didya.htm.
For more about the Frankfort event, call the Capital City Museum, 502-696-0607, or visit www.frankfortparksandrec.com/html/leslie_morris_park.html. For more about the national observance, visit www.archaeological.org/NAD.
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An agency of the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, the Kentucky Heritage Council / State Historic Preservation Office is responsible for the identification, protection and preservation of prehistoric resources and historic buildings, sites and cultural resources throughout the Commonwealth, in partnership with other state and federal agencies, local communities and interested citizens. This mission is integral to making communities more livable and has a far-ranging impact on issues as diverse as economic development, jobs creation, affordable housing, tourism, community revitalization, environmental conservation and quality of life. www.heritage.ky.gov