Time Team America "Fort James, South Dakota"

Written by Holly on Tuesday August 18, 2009

TIME TEAM AMERICA "Fort James, South Dakota" fed from PBS on August 5 while we were in our pledge drive. We recorded it and we'll air it tonight at 9pm.

time_teamIn tonight's episode, the archaeologists ride to the rescue of a Wild West time capsule. In 1865, a unit of cavalry soldiers thought they had volunteered to fight in the Civil War. Instead, they found themselves sent west to defend pioneer settlers against angry Sioux Indians in what is now South Dakota. Upon their arrival, the soldiers built one of the few stone forts on the American frontier. The fort's quartzite walls still peek out from under a grassy field. Our team has just three days to map, dig, and uncover what remains of Fort James. What they find tells an intriguing tale of 1865 frontier life.

In this picture, archaeologist Dr. Julie Schablitsky excavates what seemed to be a privy outside the fortress walls at Fort James, South Dakota. Archaeologists dig privies because they were often used as trash pits and can yield treasure troves of artifacts.

Tune in tomorrow night at 7pm for TIME TEAM SPECIAL EDITION where an expedition to the Jamestown settlement reveals the names and life stories of early colonists.