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Spanish silver coin Found on Day 3 of the Camp Security dig

Written by Teresa Boeckel, York Daily Record | Aug 29, 2014 12:37 PM

This Spanish coin was found Wednesday at the Camp Security Dig Site (submitted to the York Daily Record)

A Spanish silver coin was the biggest find Wednesday as volunteers toiled in the hot sun during the third day of an archaeological dig in Springettsbury Township to find evidence of a Revolutionary War prison camp.

WHAT'S NEW >> The Spanish coin bears the bust of King Charles III, Warfel said. "This one is very heavily worn," he said. "It was probably in circulation for quite a long time."

Warfel said he's delighted to see it because many colonial sites that he has worked on have produced Spanish silver. It's estimated that half of all the coins in circulation in the 18th century were Spanish silver coins because they had a more consistent value over time.

"It doesn't mean the Spaniards were here," he said. "It simply means that this is the coin that was best accepted for trade during that time period."

At that time, people might have had British copper coins, American copper coins and some Spanish silver coins in their pocket, Warfel said.

He hopes to find more details on the coin, including a date and a mint mark, when it is cleaned up. Much of the Spanish silver at the time was being produced in Lima, Peru as well as Mexico City, Warfel said.

OTHER DEVELOPMENTS >> A 2-feet deep hole marked with flags in the field might have a potential story, Warfel said.

A volunteer using a metal detector had to dig down to that depth to get to a piece of metal, he said. Because the volunteer found that metal below the depth of the topsoil, which is 10 inches to 12 inches deep, "it suggests to me that it likely is inside of some sort of feature," Warfel said. A feature is the archaeological term for a man-made soil disturbance that is deep in the ground.

For example, it could be a refuse hole that was filled in or a stockade trench, Warfel said.

"That will become a target for our testing," he said. "To me, I get as excited by that as I do the metal because it tells me that there's another dimension to the site that I'm not necessarily seeing either through a pedestrian survey or the general metal-detecting survey."

HELPING OUT >> Volunteer Steve Lawrence, 60, of West Manchester Township said he participated in an archaeological dig at the Schultz House years ago, and this was a great opportunity. He said he likes to find things.

So far, Lawrence said, he has found a couple pieces of metal, but it's "ugly metal."

"I'm anxious to start digging," he said.

WHAT'S NEXT >> Volunteers will start digging holes today, Warfel said.

About the dig

Wednesday marked the third day of an archaeological dig to search for any element of Camp Security or Camp Indulgence, which were prisoner of war camps during the Revolutionary War.

The nearly 4-acre area being searched is off of Locust Grove Road in Springettsbury Township.

Archaeologist Steve Warfel, field assistant Amanda Snyder and volunteers have been searching for artifacts from the 18th century.

They did not find anything from the period on the first day, but the second day produced numerous artifacts, such as a British half-penny, a musket ball, and buttons.

Follow along day-by-day

Find out what is being found at the site of Camp Security dig in Springettsbury Township


This article is part of a partnership between WITF and the York Daily Record/Sunday News.


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