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Digging the past

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Posted: Sunday, September 8, 2013 2:00 am

For one brief moment Uniontown native, Bethany Greene traveled back in time more than 300 years.

The Penn State University anthropology major was one of eleven students participating in the University Park’s Archeological Field School dig.

Exploring a frontier stockade at Fort Shirley, Greene joined fellow classmates in a dig of the site that dates back to the French and Indian War in 1755.

While Greene had imagined the event as “digging all day long”, she found herself pleasantly surprised and even walked away with a memory she won’t soon forget.

Working in a one-meter by one-meter unit of ground Greene used shovels and her hands, digging 25 centimeters deep before finding a British gun flint.

“My hard work paid off,” Greene said. “[The flint] was the best thing I found. I’m so very proud of it.”

Graduating in December from Penn State University, Greene plans to join the Peace Corps master’s degree program, which will enable her to earn her anthropology master’s degree while serving as a Peace Crops volunteer.

Then she plans to continue on and earn a doctorate in archaeology.

As a young child, Greene knew she wanted to pursue a path in archaeology and her passion for studying other cultures and religions continues to feed that passion.

“I wanna learn as much about everybody else as I can,” Greene said.

“I hope to travel a lot and learn a lot about different cultures.”

Where her future in the Peace Corps will take her is yet undetermined, but she’s willing to go “wherever they send me.” Greene is also hopeful to have another excavating chance like the one Penn State offered her.

“I am planning on doing more digs in the future,” Greene said. “There’s so many all over the world. Why wouldn’t I take part in that?”

Often times Greene notes that people are familiar with pictures of archeological digs, but like herself are unaware of the paperwork, hard work and history they can actually find at a site.

Some may consider the day’s finds just a flint, but for Greene this piece of history found in the wall of a fort meant so much more.

“You think back three hundred years ago and think about the past and you can visualize it,” Greene said.

“I can see someone holding it.”

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