Our cohort visited the Sunwatch Indian Village earlier this year to expand our understanding of the land on which we live. Sunwatch is a reconstructed Native American village from the Fort Ancient Period. While there, we learned that though prehistoric items were discovered on the site in the 1960s, a full excavation of the site was not begun until the '70s. The city had designated the area for a sewage treatment plant and needed to salvage it prior to construction. After discovering several ancient artifacts, the city instead decided to preserve the site. Excavations were considered completed in the late 80s, and now the site is now enjoyed by the public as a celebration of our country's rich Native American history. It is called "Sunwatch" because of the purpose of the central pole as an astronomical event indicator.
While there, we were given the chance to not only learn all about its history, but also tour the reconstructed huts. It was so interesting to be able to put ourselves in the shoes of the people who lived there hundreds of years ago.
While we were able to gain a lot of knowledge about the site, we were also able to help out, moving picnic tables to prepare for the fall school field trip season. In this way, we felt that we were able to help the community while the community, in turn, helped us.
It was a great learning experience, and I would recommend anyone living in the Greater Miami Valley should try to make time to visit Sunwatch in their spare time!
Katy - 2017 Cohort