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Arcadia Mills excavation

At the current excavation site at Arcadia Mills, archaeologists are uncovering an antebellum home, built in the late 1800s.
What's left of the home is underneath a vacant lot.
Archaeologists and students from UWF are trying to uncover the home and understand the people who lived here.

"I've worked with Arcadia Mills since 2009 and I feel like I know these people, just from being here and finding their material remains," said site manager, Adrienne Sams. 

The Arcadia Mill archaeological site was once the largest 19th century water powered industrial complex in Northwest Florida.

Today it's a museum, visitor center, and  elevated boardwalk.
As archaeologists dig, they need help sorting through the artifacts they find.
That's where the field lab comes in. Volunteers look through artifacts and sort them into different categories, like ceramics, bricks, or nails.

"You find these objects. They've been there for 200 plus years, but they were somebody's," said Sams.

Some of the things they've found, bricks, pipe stems, and bottles. Archaeologists even found a pair of shoes once.

"Everything is different here. Some of it can be bent, some of it can be perfectly straight, some of it can be just little shells or pebbles," said Malia Nord.

Twelve-year-old Nord is volunteering for service hours with her grandmother.
It's her first time,  but she plans on coming back.

"I wonder what this went through and how it came to be here and all that stuff," she said. 
The volunteer field lab is open every Friday this month, and for two Fridays in July.
For more information on how you can volunteer, visit historicpensacola.org/arcadia.cfm

You can also call 850-626-3084. The volunteer lab is open from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.