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Pilgrims’ Homes Excavated in Massachusetts

Monday, October 30, 2017

Massachussets Plymouth ExcavationPLYMOUTH, MASSACHUSETTS—The Patriot Ledger reports that archaeologists led by David Landon of the University of Massachusetts, Boston, have uncovered traces of Pilgrim life between the remains of two buildings located within the palisade wall discovered last year. In one pit, they found the bones of a butchered calf that had not been completely processed. Landon thinks hot weather may have been the reason. “We’re filleting it out and it’s laying around for a little while,” he speculated. “Time to get rid of the rest of this into a pit on the side of the house,” he said. The alleyway also yielded samples from a trash pit that will be tested for pollen and parasites, and fish bones in a planting hole, reflecting the Wampanoag practice of fertilizing plants with fish. Other seventeenth-century artifacts uncovered during the excavation include European pottery and stoneware, straight pins, trader’s beads, and a lead seal marked with an image of a thistle, which may have come on a bolt of cloth from England. “It was very emblematic of the time and emblematic of the trade routes,” Landon said. To read more about historical archaeology in Massachusetts, go to "Finding Parker's Revenge."

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