August 2023 – October 2023

In the Spring of 2022, while partaking in their weekly “woods recess” -a period of free play in Chesterfield Elementary School’s outdoor classrooms- 5th grade students began finding old bottles and other vintage items in their woodsy playground. As these discoveries grew, their teacher Laura White decided to use these discoveries as a way to introduce her students to the world of Archeology. Ms. White told the Keene Sentinel in an email that “for the month of April [2022], the archaeological dig site of what appeared to be an old household dump site was the main attraction at woods recess.” The students used their skills in mathematics to grid out the dig site like professional archaeologists and uncovered everything on display. 

After unearthing their discoveries the student’s took a field trip here to theHistorical Society of  Cheshire County to learn more about the objects they found. While they were at the historical society they talked to Martha Pinello, an archaeologist and ceramics expert, and the Historical Society’s executive director, Alan Rumrill, who taught the students how to date a bottle by the height of its seam.  As a culminating project, the students created an exhibit for their schoolmates.  Labels were written to date, describe, and hypothesize the possible use for each object. 

These students were kind enough to share their discoveries with the Historical Society of Cheshire County in the fall of 2023.