The Packard Proving Grounds has several archaeology programs coming up later this month.

The Packard Proving Grounds has several archaeology programs coming up later this month.

Photo provided by Debbie Remer

Packard Proving Grounds to host archaeology events

By: Kara Szymanski | Shelby-Utica News | Published October 3, 2023


SHELBY TOWNSHIP — International Archaeology Day falls annually on the third Saturday in October, and the Packard Proving Grounds will be hosting archaeology related events in honor of this day, though not on the day itself.

The archaeology activities will take place Oct. 14-16. They include “archaeology dig project training” from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Oct. 14; “What has the PPG archaeology team found?” from 1 to 2 p.m. Oct. 14; and “Meet the state archeologist, Sarah Surface-Evans” from noon to 1 p.m. Oct. 16. The Packard Proving Grounds’ annual open house, with free admission, will take place 1-5 p.m. Oct. 15. Those at the open house can also learn about what the archeologists have discovered.

The dig project training costs $15 for Packard Proving Grounds members and $20 for nonmembers. The program on what has been found is free to members and $5 for nonmembers. The program with the state archeologist also is free to members and $5 for nonmembers. Register for the programs at

Debbie Remer and Gary Shelburne are working on the archeological digging at the Packard Proving Grounds. Remer said the Packard Proving Grounds is a nationally registered historic site and is also registered as an archaeological site with the state.

“For the class we are looking for more volunteers to dig, help record, and to research items found. For the lecture on Monday, that would be important for anyone in a historic property, historic district, part of a local government, or just for general information,” she said via email.

Shelburne said he feels good about the archeological celebration.

“I hope it brings a lot of awareness to the proving grounds. People in the area should know what went on. People attending will enjoy seeing what we have found so far. They will also have a chance to join us,” he said.

Surface-Evans will speak on Michigan’s archaeological history, which includes 25,000 sites. Participants will learn about the Michigan State Historic Preservation Office and federal laws that protect the country’s archaeological sites. Surface-Evans also will discuss the State Historic Preservation Office’s archaeology program.

Shelburne said he would like to remind people that the dig site is on private property. No one can come onto the property and metal detect and start digging. All artifacts belong to the Packard Proving Grounds. 

The Packard Proving Grounds is located at 49965 Van Dyke in Shelby Township.

Those interested in membership can visit