Tuesday, June 20, 2000

Area youths in archaeology program

By Cindy Schroeder
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        UNION — While many Northern Kentucky teens may be spending their summer at the pool or at a part-time job, aspiring archaeologist Chris Hazlewood is trying to locate the remnants of a late 19th century homestead in Big Bone Lick State Park.

        By mid-afternoon Monday, the 15-year-old Fort Thomas resident and three other teens in his group had unearthed an old button, broken plates, and a glass bottle that may have stored a 19th century elixir.

        “We found a lot of cool stuff,” said Chris, now in his third year of the Behringer-Crawford Museum's Junior Curator Program in Archaeology. ""I like the adventure of finding new things.”

        Chris was among 14 youths, ages 11 to 16, taking part in the first of two summer sessions in the Behringer-Crawford program. A second session is scheduled for mid-July.

        Participants spend the first five days of the program in the field, digging, measuring, keeping records, and analyzing their finds. The second week is spent in lab work.

        After the final session, the young archaeologists are honored at a reception, and their finds are exhibited at the Behringer-Crawford Museum in Devou Park.

        “It's real hands-on in the sense that they're learning things without even realizing it,” said Jeannine Kreinbrink, the associate archaeologist who started the program in 1981. “They learn a little math, a little science, what the different soils are, and what kind of rocks they're looking at.”

        Through the program, run with the help of volunteer field directors Rose and Jack Pfaff, Ms. Kreinbrink said, organizers hope to spark an interest in preserving endangered artifacts and show the importance of teamwork, whether it's at a historical dig or in an office.

        Betty Betz, 19, of Union joined the program in 1994 and now helps at excavation sites. In two weeks, the Northern Kentucky University archaeology major will take part in a dig at a Native American site in New Mexico.

        “It's a lot of fun,” said 14-year-old Caroline Burns of Fort Mitchell, who once found a Civil War era toy gun. “You never know what you'll find.”


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