Digging Into The Past
Archaeology In Connecticut
Did you know that Connecticut contains thousands of archaeological sites spanning 10,000 years? These excavations have provided insights into important stories about Connecticut's cultural heritage, not found in history books. Guided by Archie Ollie Gist, Digging Into the Past: Archaeology in Connecticut takes visitors on a journey through the impressive, yet little known, archaeological history of the state of Connecticut. In this child-friendly exhibit, visitors of all ages can learn about the tools and techniques used by archaeologists to uncover the secrets of the past.
Digging Into The Past helps visitors learn about several of the most important archaeological sites in Connecticut. The Templeton Site is the oldest site in the state, dating to over 10,000 years ago. It was a stone tool maunfacturing site used only for a short period of time. However, the presence of red oak, white oak and cedar charcoal completely changed the long-held perception that Connecticut was an open grassland tundra during that time period; those types of trees grow in dense forests. The LeBeau Fishing Camp and Weir Site is situated along the east bank of the Quinebaug River in southwestern Killingly, Connecticut and was used intermittently over thousands of years beginning around 8,000 years ago. The site contains the remains of a diagonal style stone fishing weir which is the earliest example of weir technology in Connecticut. The Tubbs Shell Heap is located in Niantic, Connecticut and was the location of a settlement placed to best use the marine resources. Included among the 1500s-era features were the remains of several fire, storage and refuse pits. The lime from the shells in these refuse pits preserved many of the organic artifacts that would otherwise have decomposed, providing valuable clues to the activity at the site.
The 19th Century Schaghticoke Village excavated on the Schaghticoke Reservation in Kent, Connecticut includes the remains of several 1800s-era structures. Excavations have shown that Native Americans have inabited the reservation lands for at least 4,000 years. When combined with written historical records from the 19th century, the archaeological finds present a more complete picture of historical events. The Military Academy Site is situated along the Niantic River in East Lyme, Connecticut and was the location of a hamlet which contains evidence of a unique oblong house structure unlike those described for other indigenous communities of that era. Also found were tools made from non-local jaspers suggesting a healthy trade relationship with people living to the south and west.
Visit us today to dig into the past and uncover the history of Connecticut!