Archaeologists Hope Site in Elverson Will Provide Fuller Picture of the Lives of African-American Tenant Farmers

Archeological dig at Hopewell Furnace National Historical Site
Image via the National Park Service.
Archaeologists at Hopewell Furnace on a 2019 dig. A similar exploration of the site is now underway.

A team of archaeologists is excavating a site in Elverson, hoping to gain a fuller picture of the lives of African-American tenant farmers, writes Lisa Scheid for the Daily Local News.

The team from the National Park Service is currently conducting a two-week excavation of a former tenant house at Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site. The focus is on “Brison House,” where hard-working woodcutter George Brison lived.

While excavating, archaeologists use a screen to ensure they do not miss artifacts.

“We’re uncovering some very exciting artifacts that date to the time period of the furnace operation and the occupancy of George Brison,” said archaeologist Amy Roache-Fedchenko.

More than 100 African-Americans worked at Hopewell Furnace, a 19th-century, cold-blast, charcoal-fueled iron furnace, during its operation.

The team also recently held a public archaeology day, where families got the chance to explore the onsite history through hands-on activities.

Read more about the archaeologists’ efforts in the Daily Local News.

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