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Geophysical search for original college

Charles Pearson and Brian Haley will give a talk titled, “Finding Old College: A Geophysical Search for the Original Hampden-Sydney College Buildings,” on Tuesday which, according to a press release, will highlight Pearson’s archeological search for the “Old College,” and detail how people can get involved.

“The now-buried archaeological remains of the college” like its visible and standing historic structures, are a significant representation of important elements in the unique 240-year history of the school,” officials said in the release. “The remains are a part of the school’s identity, and this history is one factor that characterizes Hampden-Sydney and establishes it apart from many other schools.”

The release cited Pearson will be conducting the “geophysical survey” in an effort to pinpoint and identify buried archaeological remains such as building foundations, wells, privies, ice houses, trash pits and the like in the Old College area.

“This identification will serve as a first step in the development of a management plan for those buried resources to insure they are not damaged or entirely destroyed by future development and construction,” officials said in the release. “The geophysical survey will employ two remote-sensing instruments: a magnetometer gradiometer and ground-penetrating radar (GPR).”

According to the release, both instruments are frequently used in archaeological research today, and each has the ability to plot a range of buried features and objects that can aid in future investigations.

The talk, free and open to the public, will take place at 4:30 p.m. in the Atkinson Museum. This event is part of the college’s continuing commitment to the intellectual and cultural enrichment of the Southside community.