Digging Darrow

Have you ever wondered what evidence, in addition to the magnificent buildings that we live and work in, is left of the lives of the Mount Lebanon Shakers? Darrow is thrilled to announce Digging Darrow, a partnership with DigVentures, the first archaeological team to tackle the challenge of excavating on the Mountainside – and YOU can join us!

As the caretakers of this blend of rich history and modern facilities, we have been conscientious stewards of the 365-acre campus, which includes 26 buildings, of which most are original Shaker structures. Darrow is the only school in the United States located on the site of an historic Shaker village. This setting has defined the character of the school, informed its approach to active learning, and continues to touch the lives of everyone who lives and learns here.

We are now embarking on a mission to dig even deeper into the unique history of the campus, and incorporate this activity as an essential part of our project-based curriculum. This innovative pathway of study will be the only program of its kind available to high school students in the United States; understanding the archaeological resource, and what it tells us about the Shakers, is fundamental to this exciting new phase of learning.

There are many established Shaker scholars, facilities and resources in the region, and it is our intention to use this project as a collaborative catalyst for new research and an increased profile for Shaker studies. As one of the most intriguing social and religious movements in American history, new archaeological investigation provides a significant opportunity to further understand this group as well as early American history, religion and culture.

Digging Darrow builds on DigVenture’s 2013 survey and excavation of the Center Family Wash House, and is envisioned as a five-year, interdisciplinary project, stitching together scholars, existing resources and new research to explore these fascinating early Americans. The 2017 season will be an evaluation designed to take stock of both the above- and below-ground archaeology, and an essential first step to establish targets for more fieldwork in future seasons.

The excavation is set to take place over two weeks:
Tuesday, May 30 – Sunday, June 4
Tuesday, June 6 – Sunday, June 11

   
 2013 Digging Darrow Crew
 Sondage at Center Family Wash House