Finally, my turn! Our first semester of excavations at Old Swedes was like working for the U.S. Postal Service: “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night…” Seems we saw it all during our weekly Friday morning travails in Wilmington. Thanks to an enthusiastic, dedicated group of staunch archaeologists-in-training, we made good progress peeling back the layers of brick, stone, and soil around the church in search of the stories they had to tell.

And here they are:
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Catherine, Sophi, and Ana at the Bell Tower

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Amara, Michael, and Nicole at the North Buttress

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Jay, Anissa, and Rebecca at the South Porch


Emily, Brianna, and Joe (with a special helper) at the South Buttress Path

The last Sunday of our project, half of our team shared their work with 30+ church parishioners, neighbors, and friends, who especially enjoyed peering into our digs to learn the secrets of stratigraphy.

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Sophi, Catherine, Rebecca, Jay, Nicole, and Kelsey after Sunday’s ‘dig tour’

Emily Rebmann, one of our graduate student archaeologists from the Winterthur Program in American Material Culture Studies, created an informative and fun video featuring members of our student team, Old Swedes parishioners, the Holy Trinity Church rector, and Old Swedes Foundation members. Check it out on youtube:

This summer, thanks to a grant from the Jessie Ball Du Pont Foundation to the Old Swedes Foundation, Kelsey and Ana are returning to the site on summer internships with me and Andrea to complete our preliminary excavations.


Foundation, north buttress
We’re focusing first on the bell tower and north buttress excavations, both of which abut the building foundations. This week, historic architect Dale Frens, who did the Historic Structures Report for Old Swedes Church, joined us in concluding, “well that’s not what I expected to see!” when we unearthed the north buttress foundation corner and found a patchwork of stones and mortar and an irregular mortared stone paving extending only along the north wall of the buttress. This week we plan to expose more, and to continue digging through layers of flooded soils, rodent holes, and rubble-filled pits at the bell tower.

Check in next week when hopefully we’ll have sorted out what we’re seeing there to explain to you, our readers.

Thanks for following our progress!
Lu Ann De Cunzo