Archaeological dig in Southport unearths relics of the past

Updated: Aug. 8, 2020 at 5:19 PM EDT
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SOUTHPORT, N.C. (WECT) - Special teams have been working in Brunswick County this month looking for items from the past that have laid forgotten under the ground for generations.

The public archaeological corps have been digging next to St. Philips Episcopal Church in Southport for weeks now, looking to learn more about what life was like for people here centuries ago. The church invited PAC on the property that used to be home to a building built in 1895. The structure was demolished, but they wanted to group to take on the project and learn the history of the area before putting a new building on the lot.

Each day they’ve pulled tiny treasures from the dirt; Saturday morning, a bayonet tip was pulled from the ground less than an hour after teams arrived on scene and deployed metal detectors.

In the past weeks, the group has found an opal ring, a lighter, buttons from the 18th century and coins that date all the way back to 1776.

Members of the nonprofit say searching for items that have been lost over the years is a way to celebrate our area’s heritage and protect important sites in our community.

“Its important to know where we came from and there are a lot of stories in history that go untold and I think that the archaeological record good to supplement historic records to give us a true picture of what was going on like in the 19th in the 18th century and beyond and it helps humanize those who came before us,” said the group’s executive director Jon Schleier. “They were just like us, we had similar struggles and I think there’s a lot to be learned from that.”

The Public Archaeological Corps is always looking for new members. To get involved you can find their website here.

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