The Cabin Path has many mysteries. Native American artifacts have been found here that include Mississippian pottery, rock tools, and arrowheads. Many times after a hard rain, the arrowhead points will simply "appear" on the top of the ground. I keep many of the artifacts in the Gathering Room for all to see and touch.

With the help of a friend, Clifford Blizard, Ph.D (geology), we planned an archaeological dig in an area next to the Native American Rock Circle hill..and just up from known Mississippian burial grounds. It is part of our horses' pasture, so I used the round pen panels to fence it off. This area is a place that I have found several aritfacts over the years, including a square rock that appears to have a deer or bear face on it. A Lakota visitor last summer was very impressed with this rock. He thought it to be Woodland or Mississippian.

Our day began with a brief history of the area, and an overview of archaeology. We then walked to the hill that has a rock circle with several petroglyphs. It appears to have been a Native American site for ceremonies and a calendar because the rocks are aligned with north, south, east, and west. It has also been suggested that the entire hill is a mound. Perhaps one year, we will have an archaeological team come in and survey the area, but we wanted to conduct a mini dig see if we could uncover any artifacts. It was a learning experience for all of us!

We began with a Pledge that I wrote. As a "caretaker" of this land for many years, I took this dig very seriously. I wanted the workshop to be a fun and learning experience, but I also wanted to stress the importance of preserving and respecting the past. We all read this pledge together before be stared the dig:

May we show reverence and respect to the land and to those who lived here many years ago.

May we dig with a quest for knowledge and not for a thirst for profit. May we be blessed with answers to questions of the past that we may learn lessons for our future.

May we feel a bond to this land and its secrets.

May we learn about its history as we learn about ourselves.

May we leave only footprints to show that our paths have crossed and take away only memories of the day to share in our hearts.

We began by gridding off the site. We all took turns digging, hauling the dirt in buckets, and then sifting and documenting our finds.

One of the Dads had minored in Native American Archaeology at Cornell! I did not know this until we started the dig! He uncovered a 3 sided squared rock that he thought was interesting and not "nature made".

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We also found several other interesting smaller rocks, but no arrowheads or pottery. The dig was not "baited"..I wanted it to be an authenic experience, and I believe it was! An archaeological dig is a methodical process..and work! The mystery of the unknown was exciting, and we all enjoyed becoming archaeologists for a day!

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Comment by Sarah Crutchfield on May 28, 2010 at 9:59am
Thank you all...It was fun, and a learning experience for all of us..and we plan another one in June! We know that our place was a gathering area for NA..and we have Mississippian burial grounds. I have found artifacts over the years, and we continue to find them. My husband just retired (36 yrs at Delta) We have plans to expand and improve The Cabin Path..I can't wait!
Comment by Jennifer Kable on May 26, 2010 at 6:39pm
What an amazing experience for the children. I'd love to do that too! I really enjoy reading your posts and looking at the images. They give me so much to think about.
Comment by Suz Lipman on May 26, 2010 at 11:13am
Wow, Sarah. I can't believe all the things you've found at the Cabin Path. They, and this activity, literally add another layer of reverence that the participants can have for the land. Thanks for another fascinating post.

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