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Newberry Cabin, Mammoth fossil provide Science students hands-on Learning Opportunities

Science students photo

It’s time to start registering for spring semester classes at Weatherford College, and Physical Sciences Department Chair Lori Gouge has a few good reasons students should consider adding archaeology or geology to their course lineup.

Currently in its third semester, WC’s archaeology course provides students the chance to participate in an ongoing project with the Doss Heritage and Culture Center to relocate four Parker County cabins to the Doss property by unearthing artifacts at the Newberry Cabin.

“Anyone who has been involved in this class and worked on this project has been very pleased with the experience,” Gouge said. “Some of them convert over to anthropology. Some of them join the Texas Archaeological Society and they become life-long learners by having this interest introduced to them.”

Archaeology is a hybrid class comprised of online and face-to-face classwork as well as archaeology digs usually on a Friday or Saturday morning. Students are currently working with the Doss Center to sort and clean artifacts they’ve found which include a small stone doll, pieces of pottery and verified Civil War buttons.

“This isn’t just someone’s trash can, it’s genuine artifacts that are coming out of the dig,” Gouge said. “It’s a very enriching course.”Archaeology class

For students with an interest in paleontology, Gouge suggests historical geology where students will have the opportunity to work on preserving the fossilized remains of a mammoth found this past summer in northern Parker County. Students who sign up for this spring semester course will immediately have access to the mammoth this semester by contacting Gouge.

The Doss Heritage and Culture Center has also offered to host a display of the mammoth as well which will include credit given to all students who contribute to the project.

Gouge is particularly excited about the mammoth project. After finding an arrow head at the same level as the bones the site was registered as the 183 archaeological site in the State of Texas and could change history.

“Indians in America are about 11,500 years old,” Gouge said. “Well this point we found with the mammoth matches other mammoth/man encounters at 14 and 15 thousand years old. Meaning that textbooks may have to be rewritten if this is truly that old. We could change archaeological history.”

Registration for currently enrolled and returning students begins Nov. 7, and registration for first time and transfer students begins Nov. 29.

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