Archaeologist digs up history in local park - WNEM TV 5

Archaeologist digs up history in local park

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SAGINAW, MI (WNEM) -

When you think of archaeology, dinosaur bones and fossils probably pop into your head, but it's also a great way to discover the history of a city. 

That's what happened in Saginaw on Tuesday. 

"It's very cool," said Jeff Sommer, curator of archaeology at Castle Museum.

He knows what pieces of the past lie beneath the soil. That's why he is conducting digs at Borchard Park in Old Town. 

"This happens to be an area where a lot of important events have happened related to the city," he said.

The history of the park shows the area has been public open space dating back to the 1830s. That's important for Sommer and his team because it means no one has dug down this far before to find the things they are looking for.

"The kinds of things people used and discovered in their everyday lives," Sommer said.

The team cuts a square of dirt, sifts through for historic treasure, then afterward they replace the sod and fill the hole.  

"We found a few pieces of broken glass and dish fragments and pieces of churt, which is the material Native Americans made stone tools out of," Sommer said.

The team has yet to find that big discovery, but that won't discourage the team. They will be out digging until they do because they know in the end, what they find will bring residents of Saginaw, right back to their roots. 

"Kind of really grounds you with a sense of space. It gives you the sense of continuity that yeah, we're going through struggles, but Saginaw is still here," Sommer said.

This project was put together by the Saginaw Historical Society and the Castle Museum.

Sommer and his team will be out digging until they find something or they decide there's nothing to be found.

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