It's been a busy year at the University of Rochester, especially with my new job as Director of Undergraduate Studies. Although there will be a lot of work finishing up the term and getting through graduation in the weeks to come, I can't wait to get back to Smiths Island!
In response to student suggestions (read here: mutiny threats!), this year the field school with be five weeks instead of four, with more time off for boon-doggle days -- and I have some excellent historic adventures planned. We will again repeat public tours of the dig sites through the Historic Heartbeats program on June 23 for Bermudians interested in getting out to Smiths and see what new things we uncover at Oven Site.
This year's team will be lean and mean - just four students (including returnees Leigh and Kristina) and myself, so I'd welcome anyone interested in volunteering (between May 25 and June 28). Please contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org to make arrangements. I'm also welcoming volunteers from the US, Canada, or Great Britain - you'll need to secure your own accommodations (try Aunt Nea's Inn/Hillcrest, Samaritan's Cottage, or Trudy Snaith's apartments) - but I'd be happy to assist as much as I can.
Our focus this year will be on defining the dimensions and floor plan of Oven Site, refining the dating of this site, and looking for associated outbuildings, but we also hope to assess whether there are any cultural heritage remains at a site in the middle of the island on private land where building will soon occur and also perhaps survey some new areas of Smiths Island in order to identify additional new archaeological sites. Recent research has revealed that there was a smallpox quarantine building at Smiths Island's east end, and we may test the ruin near Smallpox Bay to determine if it dates to this period.
So here's to the next few weeks flying by, and a gloriously sunny and dry May and June in Bermuda!