After several years of dormancy, one of Jefferson ISD’S most popular, extra curricular programs is reorganizing, thanks to the efforts of Gary Endsley, Rob Barnwell, Mike Walker, Clint Coyne, Leslie Whitaker and Lynn Fratangelo. The group, originally organized in 1971, recently held its first student outing at Collins Academy in Jefferson. Collins Executive director, Gary Endsley, along with archaeologist Kari Dickson gave students an overview of anthropology and archaeology by explaining that anthropology is the scientific study of humans and their ancestors and archaeology uses artifacts to learn about human culture. Students viewed slides and learned about Jefferson’s rich cultural history, in their efforts to decide what project they will chose to pursue and study as members of the Jefferson Junior Historians, which is affiliated with the Texas State Historical Association. The students were then taken on-site to the Union Missionary Baptist Church, currently undergoing major renovation by Collins Academy, and will ultimately become a heritage center. The grounds surrounding the church have already yielded many artifacts of past cultures in the Jefferson area.
Students were divided into two groups and taught how to grid and dig an area, sift their diggings for artifacts, document their finding and how to clean and catalog them. Students participating included Adrianna Blanton, Illigre Idir, Dayne Johnson, Logan Bloodworth, Zoe Brown-Robinson, Tawny Foster, Caden Rutz, Makala Williams-Pierson and Joseph Woods.
The students were treated to lunch both days by Collins Academy founder Richard Collins, where they discussed the days events and compared themselves to Indiana Jones and CIS investigators.