Sunday, March 20, 2011

La Pointe-Krebs House artifacts report to be revealed

As artifacts unearthed at the La Pointe-Krebs House in the digs of last summer are being analyzed at the University of South Alabama's archaeology lab in Mobile, members of the Jackson County Historical and Genealogical Society have eagerly awaited a report on the findings.

They will get some answers this Tuesday night, 6 p.m., during the Society's regular meeting at the Pascagoula Public Library meeting room when archaeologist Bonnie Gums will discuss findings to date.

"During the summer digs, several structural remains were found, including a brick foundation, one very large pit possibly for underground food storage, and a pit where mortar was produced for one of the plantation buildings," Gums said. "For the last six months, the artifacts have been cleaned and are now being analyzed."

The summer excavation project yielded highly decorated Native American pottery, Indian tobacco pipes made of stone and clay, French, British and Spanish colonial ceramics, religious medallions and glass trade beads.

Gums will have some of the artifacts on display at the program meeting, which is open to the public.

With a grant from the Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH), staff and student assistants from the Center for Archaeological Studies at USA in Mobile conducted excavations during last summer at Pascagoula's historic site.

Despite the heat, more than 50 people, including children, teenagers, and families, from Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, and Georgia joined the Saturday volunteer digs.

An archaeologist for 20 years working in the Midwest, and for the past 16 years at the USA Center, Gums received her BA and MA from Southern Illinois University focusing on French colonial archaeology in Illinois.

She has been involved in excavations at Old Mobile, Fort Mims, Fort Conde village in downtown Mobile, and many other sites in southwestern Alabama. Her special interests include historic pottery kilns on the Eastern Shore of Mobile Bay and colonial plantations on the Gulf Coast, including the La Pointe-Krebs House.

In 2005, the historic house and its museum were damaged by Hurricane Katrina and the park closed. The historic house will be restored using MDAH grants. The museum will be repaired using FEMA funds.

A qualified historical architect will oversee the project, which has been awarded to Compton Engineering.

The La Pointe-Krebs House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and is a designated Mississippi Landmark.

Also at Tuesday's meeting, Melanie Moore, chairman of the Fete La Pointe gala, will give a report on the upcoming Friday event that benefits and promotes the LPK House and Museum development. Final preparations and plans will be discussed.

For more interesting topics related to archaeology, visit archaeology excavations.

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