Millpond Dike and Quarry (2021)

This website presents the entirety of the work carried out by the class at the dike and the quarry site, including the fieldwork, the lab activities, the experiences discussed by the students in their weekly lab journals, and finally their final projects based on everything they learned throughout the term.

In the 2021 iteration of the project, the class’ focus was on the Millpond Dike and the suspected rock quarry nearby. This dike can be used to reach the Waterford Mill, on which the 2019 iteration of the class was focused. A dike is a human-made wall or embankment built to prevent flooding, to protect dams, and to create wetlands where they are wanted. This dike was built in 1873 along with the Waterford Dam to optimize production at the mill. It was made with material from a leveled hill to the west, and created a wetland as the area filled with water, as discovered by students in the class and their final projects. More information is available through the final projects created by the students in the class, available on this website.

The students’ final projects addressed a range of topics and skills for approaching the dike and the quarry. One project addressed the role of public archaeology within the arboretum and how it can be better shared with everyone who uses the arb through updated signage delineating archaeological sites and updating the arb’s website to reflect the new information. Another project focused on the construction of the dike itself, looking into the documentary history of the dike and the labor required to build it. A third project focused on the quarry, analyzing the finds from the excavations, the documentary history of the quarry, and the human effect on the rock. Another group utilized the maps discussed in class and used ArcGIS to create three different map projects: one focused on the quarry site itself, one focused on artifact distribution at the quarry, and the third focused on the overall Waterford area. In the theme of continuing putting the technical skills discussed in class into practice, one group used the practice of photogrammetry to create 3D models of the excavation trenches at both the dike and the quarry as well as some of the more interesting artifacts and discussing what can be drawn from these models. The last group in the class focused their project on how the arboretum functions as a social space both for the students of Carleton and the broader Northfield community.

Please enjoy navigating the various pages related to the Millpond Dike and the quarry, and feel free to browse the pages of past years’ projects!