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The Moravian Historical Society Hosts Muhlenberg College Archaeology Class

Students to dig on 18th century site

Tue, 02 Sep 2014 13:08:00 EDT

Students from a Muhlenberg College archaeology class, under the guidance of Dr. Benjamin Carter, assistant professor of anthropology, will arrive at the Moravian Historical Society to conduct a dig on their 18th century property this fall.

As part of the Society’s $3 million dollar “History is Calling” campaign to restore their historic property, Hunter Research, Inc. (Trenton, N.J.) was hired to conduct a professional survey of the grounds. Working with their affiliate the Moravian Archives to serve as the area’s leading resource of Moravian history, the Society contracted Hunter to prepare for upcoming construction and landscaping projects on the property.

The Society’s 3 acre property in downtown Nazareth has been occupied since 1740. The 1740 Gray Cottage and the 1740/1743 Whitefield House are housed on the property and are owned and maintained by the Society. The Society was seeking to find key elements on the property which have been lost over the centuries, such as the First House, water features, and a French and Indian War period stockade which was erected to protect the structures, inhabitants, and area refugees during the French and Indian war.

Once Hunter Research found evidence of all of these now missing features, Muhlenberg College expressed interest in providing their students with an eight week class on site to teach the next generation of local archaeologists hands-on skills. 

The Moravian Historical Society is thrilled to engage with the College to provide this special educational experience to analyze what lies underfoot at the oldest Moravian site in North America.

One of the oldest historical societies in Pennsylvania, the Moravian Historical Society is a not-for-profit organization that shares over 500 years of fascinating Moravian contributions to worldwide culture through educational programs for students, guided tours, museum exhibits, and public activities. More information is available at

Founded in 1848, Muhlenberg College is a private, highly selective, liberal arts college affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The Muhlenberg experience is characterized by a deep sense of community and connection, intense student-faculty relationships and collaboration; small classes; passionate teaching and active learning; and powerful outcomes in terms of graduate school and entry-level career placement. For more information, please visit