From the Standard Speaker Article of the 16 July, 2015:
Through July 10, an archaeological field school sponsored by the University of Maryland will be conducting archeological excavations at Eckley Miners’ Village.
Eckley Miners’ Village, a PHMC historic site in Luzerne County preserving the buildings and interpreting the lives
of anthracite miners, has been an active site for more than 160 years.
Bode Morin, site administrator said, “archaeology is a perfect tool to better understand the lifeways of some of the earliest immigrants and miners at Eckley. Many of them did not leave a written record and only through the systematic excavation, cataloging, and interpreting of artifacts will we get a good picture of the how they lived.”
This is the fourth year that the archaeology team, led by Paul Shackel, a professor at the University of Maryland, will be working in northeastern Pennsylvania.
“Exploring the history of working class life is important for this region’s heritage,” he said, and “Eckley Miners’ Village is a great place to study the roots of the coal industry and the impact it had on workers and their families.”
The archeology is focusing on Back Street, where the new immigrants tended to settle and live as they pursued economic stability. Camille Westmont, a PhD student at the University of Maryland, will be using the results of these excavations for her dissertation research.
“Women in these working class families are often ignored in the broader discussions of the area’s history. These excavations are telling us what women and children did — and did without — in order to maintain their everyday lives while their husbands, sons, and brothers were under ground.”
Students participating in the excavations come from the region and as far as Arizona.
Excavations are open to the public and also will be accessible during Patchtown Days on June 27 and 28.
The dig is near the slate picker’s house. The public is welcome to visit the excavation site and see what the crew is finding.
Eckley is located in Foster Township, Luzerne County, 10 miles east of downtown Hazleton and three miles south of Freeland.
Eckley Miners’ Village is administered by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission with active support from the Eckley Miners’ Village Associates.