From the State Archaeologist

Massachusetts Archaeology Month provides many opportunities to learn about the peoples who inhabited Massachusetts in the past and to get your hands dirty in archaeology. There are events for all ages and interests. If you are a teacher, you might be interested in the Massachusetts Historical Commission’s (MHC) new program, “An Archaeologist in the Classroom.” Throughout the month of October on weekdays, an archaeologist at the MHC can make a virtual appearance in your classroom to talk about archaeology and answer questions from the class. Contact Jennifer Poulsen at the MHC to make an appointment for her virtual visit (suggested for grades 3-6).

The subject of this year’s Archaeology Month poster and calendar cover is the continuing archaeological investigation of the Hassanamesit Woods sites in Grafton (see event listing in Grafton and the summary at the end of this calendar for more information). These sites were occupied by Nipmuc families in the 18th and 19th centuries. The discoveries made by the archaeologists are helping to fill the gaps in the written records about these historic period Nipmucs, as well as dispelling erroneous descriptions written by European-Americans at the time. Today, it is common practice for archaeologists to consult with descendants of the Native American sites that they are excavating, resulting in collaborative efforts in interpreting the archaeological findings and creating new foundations for the past.

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
Sophie London, Graphic Communications, Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth
Corolette Goodwin, Director, Central Services, Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth
Jennifer Poulsen, Archaeological Collections Manager, MHC