WVII interviews Newsom, anthropology students about Down East dig

WVII (Channel 7) interviewed Bonnie Newsom, assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Maine, and UMaine anthropology students about the ongoing excavation of a site in Down East Maine. Newsom has been guiding the students for the past month as they dig for hours a day in search of objects that could hold clues to the past. “The items are one thing, but it’s the story and the family and the culture around those items that really helps us to understand Maine’s history, this part of Maine’s history,” said Newsom. “It just looks like shells of dirt, but it’s so much more than that, it’s so much more. It teaches us about their culture, what they eat, it even can tell us about what season they were living here,” said anthropology student Alicia Jacobson. “Seeing these things in person from the people that came before us is just an experience that you can’t get anywhere else or recreate. It’s just something that’s amazing, honestly,” said anthropology student Andrew Smith. “We aren’t here to just collect stuff and look at stuff and be like, ‘Put it in the museum, this is mine.’ It’s doing it for the people that were here and the people that still are here. The Passamaquoddy, the Wabanaki, and the Penobscot, all those tribes that are still here, these are their relatives’ artifacts,” said Dylan Smith, an anthropology student. And for Native American archaeologists, the work can further connect them with their heritage, according to the report. “The more we can learn, the more we can know about those who came before us and that is probably one of the most important things you can do in your life,” said Sage Neptune, anthropology student and member of the Penobscot Nation. “To know where you came from, to know who you are deep inside.”