December 14, 2017
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Outside! 2014: Thwing’s Point Archaeological Dig

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Friends of Merrymeeting Bay (FOMB) continues its Outside! 2014 series with a unique opportunity to unearth some of Maine’s deepest history. In a partnership with the Maine Historic Preservation Commission, FOMB will host an archaeological dig at Thwing’s Point, weekdays from July 7th-18th .

In 1654 at the home and trading post of Thomas Ashley, on what is now Thwing’s Point in Woolwich, a group of early settlers met and signed papers forming the first European-style government in the Merrymeeting Bay region. The site has been described as possibly the most significant un-excavated historic archaeological site in Maine.
The 2014 dig continues earlier efforts homing in on the original building site, including two formerly unearthed cellar holes. This site is loaded with artifacts of the period. The last FOMB excavation in 2009 ended just as a skull was partially uncovered in one of the pits. Leading the dig is retired MHPC historical archaeologist Lee Cranmer.

FOMB is seeking volunteers to assist with the project. Participants are required to pre-register with minimum time commitments of a half day, though multi-day assistance is encouraged, space permitting. A $20 minimum donation to FOMB is suggested to help defray the $2,000 FOMB cost share of the $7,000 project. Donations of at least $50 from non-FOMB members include a one-year membership in the organization. Any artifacts recovered remain the property of the landowner.

Volunteers will have the opportunity to work with, and learn from, trained archaeologists while making important contributions to Maine historical knowledge. A maximum of six volunteer slots are available per half day session. Donations – at levels far less than a similar field school might cost – support continued FOMB work in areas like this one. The morning time slot is 8:00am-12:00pm and the afternoon slot is 12:30-4:30pm with a lunch break at noon.

Pre-registration is required with Dig Coordinator Sarah Cowperthwaite at 449-1450 or

Next in the FOMB Outside! 2014 series is a Little Swan Island paddle with Warren Whitney on July 16th from 5:00-7:30pm. Intermediate paddlers are invited to meet in Richmond but must bring their own boats. PFD are required. Pre-register with Warren at 666-3376.

Visit for more Outside! 2014 events and to learn more about how you can help protect Merrymeeting Bay.