Topic ID #32870 - posted 6/6/2014 5:53 AM

Volunteer opportunity: Valley Forge NHP Archeological Excavation

Jennifer Palmer

Opportunity     Partner     State
Valley Forge NHP Archeological Excavation
Valley Forge National Historical Park
Address:  1400 North Outer Line Dive King of Prussia, PA 19406
Contact:  ((see listing))
Availability:  6/9/2014--7/18/2014
Created:  5/29/2014
Suitability:  Adults, Kids, Teens, Seniors, Family
Difficulty:  Average
Direct Link:
[More Information] 

Volunteer Activities
• Archaeology
• Conservation Education
• Research Library
• Historical Preservation


Job Title:

Archeological Excavation at Woodford's Brigade Volunteer

Job Description:

During the winter encampment of 1777?1778, the 3rd Virginia Brigade under the command of Brig. Gen. William Woodford camped on the southern slopes of Mt. Joy. At the height of the encampment it is estimated that there were over 650 men in nearly 40 huts (Orr et al. 2002). To date no archeological research has been performed in this area. The purpose of this project is to define the spatial limits of the Woodford's brigade and to systematically sample the remains of the site. These data will then be compared to existing archeological knowledge of other encampment?era sites located within Valley Forge NHP for the purpose of providing a deeper understanding of day to day life during the encampment. In July and August 2013, archeologists conducted a geophysical survey and a number of possible archeological features were identified during the survey. The excavations this summer will examine the geophysical anomalies to see if any of them are encampment?era features.

Job Duties/ Responsibilities:

Volunteers shall assist with the screening of artifacts from the soil excavated at the Woodford's Brigade site.


Taking an active role to assist the NPS in its mission to preserve and protect both cultural and natural resources while increasing personal appreciation for the significance of National Parks and of volunteering.


No experience is necessary for screening. On the job training will be provided. Volunteers should be able to hike for 10 min on a slope of up to 15%. Volunteers should be able to stand for three (3) hours, not including the crew's fifteen minute breaks. Volunteers should be able to lift 15-25 pounds. Volunteers shall be able to adhere to the instructions of the professionals onsite, including an understanding that no screen shall be emptied before being inspected by a site archaeologist, and that all volunteers without formal archaeological training shall only work on the screens, with the use of shovel and trowel reserved only for those trained to use them.

Safety Information:

Volunteers should understand that working on an archaeological site in the summer time includes weather elements such as heat and sun exposure. Volunteers shall bring sunscreen, hats, water, and shall wear appropriate clothing (including comfortable close-toed shoes and work gloves) in order to personally manage these conditions. Volunteers with back trouble are encouraged to remember that the vast majority of their time will be spent bending over an archaeological screen, and should take their medical conditions into consideration before accepting such a position.

Time Commitment:

The project will run from June 9, 2014 through July 18 , 2013, with the possibility of additional weeks depending on how the work progresses. Volunteers are needed Monday?Friday of each week. There will be two shifts each day: 8:30 am ? 11:00 am and 12:00 pm – 2:30 pm, with a maximum of 4 volunteers per shift. There may also be the opportunity for volunteers to help with processing artifacts in the field laboratory. Volunteers will be required to sign up in advance to work. Because of the nature of the project, we cannot accept walk up volunteers.

Park Information: Located approximately 20 miles northwest of center city Philadelphia, Valley Forge is the site of the 1777-1778 winter encampment of General George Washington and the Continental Army. The park receives 1.2 million visitors each year and contains about 3,500 acres of forested rolling hills, tall grass meadows, wetlands, and rough lawns. Recreational and cultural opportunities are abundant, including museums, theaters, concerts, fishing, boating, hiking, etc. For additional information please visit the park website at or Valley Forge Tourism and Convention Board at

Project Supervisor: (see listing for contact info)

For more information, view the full listing here.


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