Artifact found by excavators

Published 9:16 am Tuesday, July 5, 2005

By By LYDIA GRIMES-Features writer
What could be more exciting to an archeologist than to hear the words, "I found something?"
Those words actually came out of one of an excavator's mouth Wednesday.
Mac Brooms and his team of assistants who have come to East Brewton to see if they can find anything that would pinpoint the location of the original Fort Crawford began the dig on Monday .
Historians have never been able to find out exactly where the fort would have been built, but most everyone believes that the site is somewhere along the bluff overlooking Murder Creek.
Brooms and his group are hoping to find some new evidence that would point them in the right direction.
Brooms is the director of the Archaeological Research Center at Troy University. He, along with his helpers, are making a second trip to try and determine the site of the fort. He has brought four helpers along to help in this phase one assessment of the area. Terri Lowery along with her daughter, Brooke Lowery, are both graduate students. Stephen Williams and his wife, Clarissa Williams, are full time workers with the Archaeological Center.
The Historical Commission is funding 50 percent of the cost of the assessment while the city of East Brewton if to furnish the other 50 percent.
The workers began on Monday, June 27, and will continue for several more days, stopping to go home for the Fourth of July.
On the last attempt to find anything in the field, many things were found, but most of them can't be dated to any particular year.
The field on Shoffner Street has been historically known as where the fort sat so many years ago and that is where the workers are concentrating their efforts. But there are other possible locations being discussed including the site of First Baptist Church of East Brewton. This church sits in the approximate location of the old Downing Shofner School and Brooms said that many artifacts dating to that time period have been found, including a marble that could have been a toy of one of the students.
He pointed out that there are some trees that are now sitting half on the bluff and half off. They would once have been firmly rooted in the soil.
Brooms and his group continue to work on a grid system. They mark off the field, digging a hole every 20 meters. They sift the dirt they dig up, put it back into the hole and move on to the next spot. If they find anything in their initial hole, they will tighten the grid to 10 meters and concentrate on that area.
As luck would have it, they did find something on Wednesday. The word went out that something had been found and everyone dropped what they were doing to see what it was. It turned out to be a shard of glass that Brooms said would have been part of a jar from the right time period. It gives them hope of finding more artifacts in the same area.
Finding the site of Fort Crawford has been the dream of many for a long time. It could bring notice to the area and could bring prosperity to East Brewton, not to mention the historical significant.
Brooms would like to hear from anyone, who has stories or family traditions about Fort Crawford, or any artifacts that may relate to the fort, to get in touch with him at Troy State University, Archaeological Research Center, 40 Eldridge Hall, Troy, Ala. 36082. Any artifacts will be returned.
Maybe the words, "I found something" will become a familiar call and the dreams of many can become a reality.

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