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Dig Archeology? Help Excavate Valley Forge, PA

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Volunteers screening for artifacts during the 2013 excavation at Muhlenberg’s Brigade, site of the 1st Virginia Brigade

Make the Summer 2014 Public Archeology Program, 3rd Virginia Brigade Excavation a family project. Valley Forge National Historic Park invites budding Indiana Jones wannabes to participate in an archeological excavation, Monday through Friday from June 9 – July 18, 2014. Volunteers will have the opportunity to screen for artifacts from the soil excavated at the Woodford’s Brigade site.

During the winter encampment of 1777‐1778, the 3rd Virginia Brigade under the command of Brig. Gen. William Woodford camped on the southern slopes of Mt. Joy. At the height of the encampment it is estimated that there were over 650 men in nearly 40 huts. To date no archeological research has been performed in this area. The purpose of this project is to define the spatial limits of the Woodford’s brigade and to systematically sample the remains of the site. These data will then be compared to existing archeological knowledge of other encampment‐era sites located within Valley Forge NHP for the purpose of providing a deeper understanding of day to day life during the encampment. In July and August 2013, archeologists conducted a geophysical survey and a number of possible archeological features were identified during the survey. The excavations this summer will examine the geophysical anomalies to see if any of them are encampment‐era features.

No experience is necessary for screening. Youth from ages 8-12 can participate with a parent present; 13-17 with parental permission. All volunteers must register in advance. For more information about volunteer qualifications, safety information, and to sign up as a volunteer, visit


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