History enthusiasts do not need to poke around in shell heaps to find treasures and help advance archaeological knowledge as artifacts often wash onto a beach after a storm, especially at sites hard hit by wave and wind erosion. Those objects, if properly preserved and marked, can sometimes close gaps in the archaeological record and by aiding in research.
What if I find an artifact(s)?
- Place each item in a clean plastic sandwich bag
- Note the date, artifact's coordinates (using either a topographic map, nautical chart, Google Earth, etc.), and a brief description of the location
- Ship inside a padded envelope or box to the following address:
Maine Historic Preservation Commission
55 Capitol Street
Augusta, Maine 04333-0065
Example of notation:
- April 17, 2017
- Latitude: 43°38'28.44"N Longitude: 70°13'31.00"W
- The artifact was found in Simanton Cove, South Portland, Maine on the southeast corner of the beach. Artifact was eroding out of the southeast bank of the beach, approximately 20 feet northeast from the descending staircase.
Excerpt telling of the importance of dating, indicating location, and interacting with archaeologists:
When well preserved and properly labeled artifacts—found at a site that underwent excavation five years earlier because of erosion—were brought to the University of Maine, a graduate student used them to “cover a whole earlier period that had been washed away.” The results were later published and would have a strong impact on the archaeological and scientific community “because it revealed information about how the coastline has been eroding” overtime. This was possible through public engagement, proper documentation, and submission.
1996 Disappearing History. Inter-Island News December: page 9, 15.