Students explore new lab at Fort Frederica

A class of Oglethorpe Elementary School third graders became the first Tuesday to study inside the new Karl Meschke Archaeological Laboratory at Fort Frederica National Monument.

The students started out in the old digs, the covered area where students have dug up the same artifacts since 1995 on the southern perimeter of the site. But on a chilly morning with their excavations done, that first class walked a few feet to the lab, stamped the dirt off their shoes and went inside where the heat was running.

That wasn’t lost on Michael Seibert, Fort Frederica’s resident archaeologist.

“This is a perfect day for this,’’ Seibert said. “We actually have a heated space.”

They had a heated space in the past, but it was a park conference room that was a longer walk away.

They had tables with plenty of seating to separate the glass, metal, bone and other pieces they found.

Longtime instructor Ellen Provenzano helped the students identify the pieces of crockery they found.

Seibert said seven schools have signed up for trips to the lab.