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Archaeologist digs for ‘the brass ring’

Modified: Friday, Mar 21st, 2014


Archaeologists William Kirk and Jaqueline Chung lean into their tasks in the front yard of a home overlooking Whale Cove, a site some researchers argue was the landing spot of Sir Francis Drake in the summer of 1579. The dig, led by renowned archaeologist Melissa Darby, began Monday and ends today (Friday).


DEPOE BAY — With a passion for antiquity fired by ancient Roman coins and the prehistoric traces of Northwest Indian tribes, archaeologist Melissa Darby is digging at Whale Cove to settle a 435-year-old riddle.

“If we can find a fort, that would be fabulous,” said Darby as she carefully scraped a layer of sandstone with a hand trowel, an implement that would have been familiar to Sir Francis Drake and the sailors who might have landed here in the summer of 1579. “There would have been 80 or 90 men for five to six weeks, and with that many you would expect to find a picket line, fire hearths and evidence of forging, garbage pits and latrines and things they cast off like buttons or coins — little bits of things that were diagnostic to the era."

For the complete article see the 03-21-2014 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 03-21-2014 paper.


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