From the State Archaeologist

Preservation 50 logoThis year is the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act. Over the past 50 years, many archaeological sites have been identified, investigated, analyzed, and in numerous instances, preserved for the future. Some of the most important discoveries include those made during the archaeology of the Central Artery project (the "Big Dig") in compliance with one small, but significant section of the Act – namely Section 106. Section 106 requires federal agencies to take into account the effects of federal projects on significant historic and archaeological properties. For more information about the Central Artery discoveries, go to MHC's website at and view the most amazing and stunning artifacts at MHC's online exhibit:

Additional links showcasing Section 106 archaeology in Massachusetts include:'s_Tavern_POSTER.pdf

This year's Archaeology Month poster and calendar features the title of a poem by Emily Dickinson, "The earth has many keys." In practice, archaeology unearths many keys to discovering and understanding the past. How fitting that the image of an archaeological investigation at Emily Dickinson's home in Amherst graces the poster and calendar. For more information about the archaeology at her home, see inside the back cover of this calendar.

Find your own keys to the past by attending one or more of the Archaeology Month events. This year's Archaeology Month activities offer many unique, interesting, and fun ways for you to explore the archaeology of ancient Native Americans, or the Colonial, Early American, or Industrial periods. Events include behind-the-scenes at archaeology and faunal (zooarchaeology) labs, site visits, gallery talks, illustrated lectures, walking and biking tours, exhibits, and hands-on events.

Brona Simon
State Archaeologist

Many thanks to:

Thomas M. Blazej, Director of Graphic Communications, Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth
Jeff Surette, Graphic Communications, Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth
Corolette Goodwin, Director, Central Services, Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth
Linda Santoro, Archaeology Month Coordinator, Massachusetts Historical Commission