Sixth grade excavates site at Black Rock Forest

As part of a year-long archaeology study, sixth graders at Metropolitan Montessori School in New York are excavating a historic site within Black Rock Forest, a 2,000-acre nature preserve located near Cornwall, N.Y.

A barn is thought to have existed on the site, which is adjacent to the Stone House, built in 1834 and the sole surviving structure from the 19th Century in the forest.

The students created a rope grid on the site to enable them to label the location of their finds. They have learned about how artifacts become buried under layers of soil and vegetation due to changes in human activity, floods, and other events.

Finds to date include an assortment of hinges and nails of various sizes; a horseshoe; a penknife; and stamped glass shards. They also have discovered charcoal remnants, raising questions about fire.

Digging continues, and students will be evaluating the objects to determine their age and possible uses.