LEBANON TO POLLOCK

MODERN USES, EXCAVATIONS

On the hilltop to-day, the trees are small, reminding us this was farmland up here until the 1960s. An old paper mill used the stream, and built big holding ponds down below to try to reduce their pollution. Just outside the ancient gateways there was a limestone quarry. Blasting marks are still visible along the southern cliff. Quarrying is probably what destroyed the crescents. For decades now it has been a Greene County Park; and Wright State Universityís archaeology field school began regular investigations here in 1981.

Dr. Riordan has made some very exciting discoveries here at the Pollock Works, but it took nearly twenty years of work. Modern archaeology is a very meticulous process. Deciding where to dig is done with great care, since it is rare that an entire site can ever be excavated. Trenches are laid out on an exact grid. Layers of soil are removed very carefully; and everything thatís found is recorded: drawn, photographed, numbered, tagged, stored, and dated.

Archaeologists donít always get the chance to do the detailed work that makes their discoveries meaningful and reliable. Many sites in Ohio still have private owners who can refuse to give archaeologists access, or who let the ancient places deteriorate, or get bulldozed. Luckily, the Pollock Works became a Greene County park, helping to make Doctor Riordanís careful, sustained efforts possible.

The four crescents on Squier and Davisí plan are now only a mystery. Architectural historian John Hancock:

Often in making our computer models, we found we couldnít match the old drawings with what we knew was out there, or what we could see on aerial photographs. In the case of these four crescents, for example, the one that Squier and Davis drew over farthest to the north, would have been floating out above the river!

But Samuel Owens, the county surveyor, had only shown two crescents in 1842; and Davis himself, though he described four, had located one in front of another on his field notes:

With these surveyors, I think it was sometimes a question of what they remembered when they got back to the hotel room, or what their engraver thought would look nice on the map!

In any case, the crescents were small, under three feet high. And like the little stone mounds between them, they disappeared long ago.

Nearby, 3 Ĺ miles southwest along SR 42, is Wilberforce, home to Wilberforce University, founded in 1856 and the first institution of higher learning to be owned and operated by African Americans, whose faculty and alumni have included many distinguished leaders and scholars. Half a mile west of SR 42 is the National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center (1350 Brush Row Road, 800-BLK-HIST), a state-sponsored museum in a striking new building. Call before visiting: heating and air conditioning problems have caused some closures.

Lebanon to Pollock

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