| 7 September 2008
Prehistoric site discovered in Vermont
One of Colchester's (Vermont, USA) newest housing developments is slated to be built on land known to contain American Indian artifacts.
Charles Knight, a professor of anthropology at the University of Vermont, serves on the board of the Vermont Archaeological Society, and spearheaded a project to excavate the site of the proposed Colchester housing development with Vermont Archaeological Society volunteers this summer. The Severance Corners site — where fragments of stone tools from as long as 2,000 to 6,000 years ago have been found — is located in the midst of the sprawling green fields off Severance Road. The site was identified by the University of Maine at Farmington's Archaeological Research Center. Knight obtained a grant that allowed Vermont Archaeological Society volunteers to conduct additional recovery work on the property.
The density of artifacts discovered at the Severance Corners site is low, Knight said. The items found – mostly fragments of tools and the stone flakes resulting from their production – suggest volumes to an experienced anthropologist. The site has not been formally dated, but Knight suggests the findings, which include types of stone known to come from St. Albans, and possibly from Berlin, N.H., represent a temporary hunting camp dating to the Early Woodland period, 2,000 years ago. "They were making tools, and likely using tools for hunting. They were trading stone, and moving over the landscape," Knight said. "We start to see that the people who lived here, who left this material, were dynamic, like us." Some evidence suggests the items could be as much as 6,000 years old, Knight said.
Items unearthed at the site will be cleaned, cataloged and stored in the state's repository in South Burlington for further study. Work at the site, which started in June, is expected to continue through the end of September. To learn more about volunteering with the Vermont Archaeological Society, visit www.vtarchaeology.org/cms.
Source: Burlington Freepress.com (1 September 2008)
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