Summer Field Project, 2015: Eckley Miner’s Village

The crew begins summer fieldwork at Eckley Miner’s Village (photo by Paul Shackel)

We’re back in the field!


Welcome from the University of Maryland’s 2015 Archaeological Field School! We are holding our fourth year of excavations at Eckley Miner’s Village, located in Weatherly, Pennsylvania. Eckley is a coal company town dating to 1854 and is currently administered by the Pennsylvania Museum and Historic Commission. It is open for guided and self-guided tours all year. More information about Eckley can be found at:

Excavations will run from June 2 until July 10.


This summer we are focusing on a row of houses known as the ‘slate picker’s’ houses. We believe these houses were torn down in the 1950s or 1960s, but several of their foundations remain. We hope that excavating around these foundation will increase our knowledge about patch town life in general and the experiences of the poorest paid coal mine employees in particular. We are extremely grateful to PMHC and Dr. Bode Morin, the site administrator, for allowing us dig and for being so accommodating! We have use of a house on Eckley Main Street that we plan to have open as our laboratory during Eckley’s Patch Town Days this year on June 27th and 28th. Come join us and see what we’ve dug up!


It would also be remiss to not mention the great field crew we have with us this summer! We have a total of 5 students and volunteers who will be joining us on our excavations this summer. They are undergraduate and post-baccalaureate students from a variety of states, including Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and Arizona. We are thrilled to have them at the site and we are excited to explore Eckley’s pastalong side them this summer. We will update this blog regularly with our tales from the field, so check back soon!

Our Total Data Station allows us to lay in a survey grid with laser precision!

Camille at the Total Data Station

Joe Michel, research collaborator and survey team advisor


About LM Project

The LMP is a collaborative endeavor which aims to recognize the events surrounding the Lattimer Massacre, an incident that changed the labor movement and impacted the world by bringing to light economic disparities and ethnic tensions in the anthracite region of PA.
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