Summer excavations begin at Historic Christ Church

From left, visitor Denzel Mitchell, head archaeologist Thane Harpole, executive director Robert Teagle and volunteer archaeologist Ryan Brauckmann on Friday, May 21, discuss what had already been found in one of the two units being excavated in the churchyard of Historic Christ Church and Museum. Photo by Shaune Lee

by Shaune Lee

WEEMS—Archaeology has started at Historic Christ Church in the first stage of the Rising Damp project.

“Rising damp” is the term for how stormwater moves into “materials like brick, mortar and stone,” rising before eventually evaporating, said executive director Robert Teagle.

As the stormwater rises, “it carries salts from the soil,” which seep through exterior walls, causing the church building to slowly decay as its architectural elements eventually become too weakened to resist, said Teagle. The moisture of the rising damp’s continual onslaught, combined with the salts, also has effects on the church’s interior woodwork and plaster.

“It takes time for the issues to appear,” he said.

Previous attempts to address the rising….

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