UNCG Campus Weekly

Campus Weekly is published each Wednesday when classes are in session. In the summer, it is published biweekly.

UNCG archaeology at historic House in the Horseshoe

Photo of UNCG graduate student Jacob Turner conducting researchJacob Turner’s hard work may be paying off. The UNCG doctoral student of geography thinks he and his UNCG research team may have located something very interesting.

Working with UNCG geography professor Dr. Roy Stine, he and the team will test the results of his geophysical survey at House in the Horseshoe state historic site Monday, June 16, 2014.

The site is south of Siler City.

Readings from a ground penetrating radar (GPR) and a magnetometer have indicated possible structures in the backyard of the colonial era House in the Horseshoe.

Test excavations will be accomplished in conjunction with the staff at the House in the Horseshoe, which is part of the North Carolina Historic Sites Division. The excavations will be supervised by Dr. Linda Stine, UNCG professor of anthropology, and John Mintz of the North Carolina Office of State Archaeology (OSA). This collaborative research is part of Turner’s UNCG doctoral dissertation research and part of the ongoing research conducted by both the Historic Sites division and OSA.

The House in the Horseshoe is best known for the Revolutionary War skirmish that occurred on July 29, 1781. The owner of the house was Philip Alston, a Whig colonel seeking independence from Great Britain. The Tory leader David Fanning surrounded the house and forced Alston to surrender. Today you can tour the house and see the bullet holes left by the altercation.

The research being conducted will better illuminate the house’s landscape during the Revolutionary War era and give officials insights to better interpret the house and surroundings for the people of North Carolina. It is hoped that the features discovered by the GPR and magnetometer will be outbuildings, possibly the kitchen, from that era. What has actually been discovered will remain a mystery until the excavations are completed.

The public is invited to attend on June 16, with a rain date of June 17. There is no admission charge. They will likely see a GPR, a magnetometer and an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) in use. Plus, they will see several areas slowly excavated, under the guidance of archaeologists. Displays and docents will explain the techniques the research team is using. The house is located at 288 Alston House Road, near Sanford, North Carolina.

In next Campus Weekly: the UNCG team prepares for excavation at Civil War Bentonville Battlefield site June 26-27.

Visual: UNCG graduate student Jacob Turner conducting research with team at a historical site this spring