The Dig at Sappington House – 2018

The dig at sappington HouseStudents: application for the dig is still open
Students interested in applying should contact SCHS President, Stephen Hanpeter at 314-918-1617, or, or Sappington House Resident Manager Sally Cakouros at 314-822-8171. Make inquiries and apply by Tuesday, May 8.

The student experience

The high school student archaeological dig at Sappington House is an experience of fun, challenge and learning. The students meet archaeology as both an art, and a science. They get hands-on with archaeology, its ways and its thinking. The students work under the guidance of professional archaeologists from the Archaeological Research Center of St. Louis (ARC).

The benefits

The students get a true overview of the field of archaeology, how it is done and why. They get a feel for the work-a-day life. Their time in this service learning program can count toward service hours and it is a valuable learning experience. It may be of benefit in applying to college.

The artifacts unearthed

The artifacts that the students find go into the permanent collection of the Sappington House Museum, along with the documentation that the students create. The artifacts are analyzed and cataloged by the professional archaeologists at ARC. The artifacts capture evidence of daily life in the past and supplement written, historical records. They provide information that historical documents can not. The students are doing real, historical research. The artifacts they unearth help to preserve permanently the history of the Sappington and Concord areas for posterity.

The teachers and archaeologists

The students work under and are guided by both high school teachers and professional archaeologists. The professional archaeologists are experienced in working with students in service learning projects. The teachers may be from the same school as the student, or another high school in the area.

The ideal students
The ideal students for the program are sophomores and juniors, as they can provide their own transportation daily to the Sappington House. A special interest in history or archaeology is a plus, but even more important is an openness to a new experience, probably fairly different from previous experiences had by many students. Students should be recommended by a teacher in their school who feels the student would benefit from the experience. The atmosphere of the dig is causal and fun, but there are some expectations, such as keeping a journal. Also, one or two students are sought to chronicle the dig in writing, photos and video. They would not have hands on in the excavation, but hands on with cameras, microphones and computers.

Additional research

Students may pursue additional research related to the dig, or to the Sappington House, or to the Sappington families. The research may be supervised by one of the dig teachers, or a teacher at the student’s school. The supervision is determined by availability of teachers. Student research findings may be presented at the fall student presentation event which is optional for the students. The event is intended to put a wrap on the student’s experience.
Program is free, no fees
The program is almost completely funded by the AIA. The cost to the student and family is zero. There are no student fees. Funding is through a combination of donations, grants, and the respective organizations’ members, as well as contributions from the general public.

Dates and hours

The dates for the 2018 dig at Sappington House are from Thursday, May 31 to Saturday, June 16. The dig week runs from Tuesday to Saturday, no dig on Sundays or Mondays. The student hours are daily 10:00 am to 3:00 pm. They bring their own lunch. Students dress appropriately for summer work with sturdy shoes that cover the feet and bring work gloves. Attendance for the full 13 days is best, but exceptions can be made for scheduling challenges.

The program sponsors
Archaeological Institute of America (AIA St. Louis Society)
Sappington-Concord Historical Society (SCHS)
Historic Sappington House
City of Crestwood, Department of Parks and Recreation

To apply
Students interested in applying should contact SCHS President, Stephen Hanpeter at 314-918-1617, or, or Sappington House Resident Manager Sally Cakouros at 314-822-8171. Application for the dig is still open