Students from regional schools will participate in, learn from the new round of exploration
RED BAY | In a few weeks teams of science students from schools in Franklin, Colbert and Lauderdale counties will get a chance to get their hands dirty in search of ancient artifacts at Cypress Cove Farm.
A $15,000 Franklin County Board of Education Community Service Grant will be used to help fund an archeological dig at the farm, located in the Bear Creek bottomland just east of Red Bay. The project is being spearheaded by the Red Bay Museum. Additional funds will be sought from other sources, such as area school districts whose students will benefit from the research project.
“The purpose of this project is, first and foremost, education,” said property owner Johnny Mack Morrow. “We have 11 schools in Franklin, Colbert and Lauderdale counties who will have science students come out in limited numbers and take part in this project.”
A similar dig about a decade ago produced several artifacts, some of which are now on display at the Red Bay Museum.
“I’ve never seen children respond to anything as well as they do this archeological dig,” Johnny Mack Morrow said.
The project is two-fold. First is the educational aspect, but second is that any artifacts found on the site will become the property of the Red Bay Museum, where they will be housed and displayed. There are already some artifacts on display, and Jamie Morrow, who will be heading this new exploration on the property, said some of these were from as much as six feet or more below the surface.
Some of the artifacts recovered at the site during the previous dig predate the Chickasaw or Choctaw Indian settlements. In fact, Jamie Morrow said some items discovered in a previous dig about a decade ago date back to as much as 8,000 to 10,000 years.
“We’ve got fragments of stone bowls before they knew how to make pottery,” Jamie Morrow said.
Red Bay Civitans members Bobby Forsythe and Brenda Hall will be coordinating the scheduling with area schools on their participation.
“With archeology and all the sciences that relate to archeology, the students are introduced to so many sub-fields of sciences,” Jamie Morrow said. “We will be using a lot of different chemicals to analyze the artifacts. This will be a really hands-on, and it’s so much fun because we get to deal with GIS (geographic information computer systems) and drones and history and timelines. And you get to get your hands dirty.”