LSU Rural Life Museum to Hold Archaeology Field Day
BATON ROUGE – The public will have a rare opportunity to get a firsthand look at archaeology in action during an Archaeology Field Day on Saturday, June 1, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The free event will be staffed by the LSU Rural Life Museum, whose researchers are conducting a comprehensive survey of the Chatsworth Plantation archaeological site. The crew will demonstrate archaeological research techniques and give guided tours of the 19th-century Chatsworth sugar mill site. Artifacts and displays will also be available.
The field day activities will take place at L’Auberge Casino & Hotel Baton Rouge, at the corner of River Road and L’Auberge Crossing Drive near Louisiana Hwy. 30/Nicholson Drive and Gardere Lane.
Dennis Jones, the lead archaeologist and principle investigator, along with other professionals, will give on-site tours. He will describe his field research and the significance of the Chatsworth Plantation quarters and sugar mill site. The tour gives people an opportunity to see how archaeology works and how preservation and documentation is important.
Chatsworth Plantation was a major sugarcane grower and producer of sugar during the mid to late 19th century. A large manor house once stood near the Mississippi River, but it was destroyed to make way for the levee in 1930. The slave quarters, sugar mill and other outbuildings were situated behind the manor house. It is here that the archaeological research is taking place.
The excavations at Chatsworth are part of a larger cultural resource survey sponsored by Pinnacle Entertainment in cooperation with LSU, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Louisiana State Historic Preservation Office and Natural Resource Professionals LLC.
The Archaeology Field Day is sponsored by L’Auberge Baton Rouge and the LSU Rural Life Museum. Free parking is available at L’Auberge Baton Rouge. Transportation to the site will be available. Appropriate footwear for the walking tour is recommended.
Additional information about archaeology at the Chatsworth Plantation site can be viewed at the project’s Facebook page, LSU Rural Life Museum Archaeology Lab. People who “like” the Facebook page will get frequent updates about the project and future tours that may be conducted later.