Archeologists work on site at Little Rock Pond
During the month of July, archaeologists will be investigating a prehistoric Native American site along the Appalachian Trail and Long Trail where stone was quarried and tools were fashioned. The Green Mountain Club, UVM's Consulting Archaeology Program, the Green Mountain National Forest, and the VT Archaeological Society are working together on this archaeological excavation at Little Rock Pond to learn more about how native people used the mountains.
This archaeological work will help protect and conserve the site, and recover information to help determine proper placement for construction of a new Long Trail shelter at the campground.
“The area has been disturbed over the years through its use as a campground, but there are still fascinating deposits there which will help us learn more about how and when people were living and working in the mountains,” said Forest Archeologist Dave Lacy.
Professionals and volunteers will be digging in this remote setting to see if they can discover how old the site is and how long it was used; which of the two varieties of quartzite available in the area may have been preferred; and to see if any organic remains have been preserved that will give insight into their diet and lifestyle.
The site consists of a series of activity areas containing the debris "flakes" from quarrying and processing the stone tools and, more commonly, "blanks" which were removed from the site and either finished elsewhere or used as trade items. Work will focus on an area where archaeologists think that folks were camping and doing “finishing” work on tools.
The Original Vermonters, ancestors of the Abenaki and Mohican tribes, were creatively dependent on natural materials to make their livings. Their cutting and scraping tools were usually made of stone. Quartzite – second only to chert, or flint, as a preferred stone tool material in New England -- is plentiful as the bedrock underpinning of the western flanks of the Green Mountains.
If you are interested in visiting the site or signing up to help dig, please contact VAS Board member Candace Lewis at Candace.Lewis@ccv.edu or 802-786-0013.