Craig Chartier on Why Dig for Archaeological Artifacts
"We do archaeology because it's a way of literally touching the past."
"Taylor-Bray Farm is unique ..I can't think of another site like this. We will be able to compare the material found here with other local and regional sites to better understand many aspects of prehistoric and early historic life...the farm also has great potential to educate people about the importance of archaeology and the need to preserve & protect sites like this."...Craig Chartier, project archaeologist.
The farm project, now in its eighth year, has documented thousands of years of human habitation at the farm. Preserving and interpreting the farm's archaeological resources enhances our understanding of the historic and pre-historic activities of the people who have called the place home over the past 10,000 years.
Native American artifacts found at the site indicate a seasonal use of the property dating as far back as the Late Paleo era. Moreover the farm is a significant Plymouth Colony site, which has yielded thousands of artifacts from that time through the 20th century. (To learn some details about the project, please see Archaeology and History at the Taylor-Bray Farm, Yarmouth Port, MA).
Archaeology work began informally in 2009 when Association volunteers removing modern modifications to the late 18th century farmhouse began to discover artifacts beneath the floorboards. Not only did the initial rehab work reveal its structure but also gave significant hints about Richard Taylor's 17th century house. This work has since grown into an organized, multi-year effort to preserve and learn about the past.
Our findings contribute to educational outreach activities that spread the word about this exceptional historic property. In the past we have created exhibits of farm artifacts and sponsored public presentations on the farm archaeology project at the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History in Brewster and various area libraries. And now that the renovated farmhouse is once again open to visitors, we have a permanent place to display artifacts from the farm's past.
We are grateful for the generous Community Preservation grants awarded by the Town of Yarmouth. These grants have allowed us to hire a professional archaeologist to carefully plan field investigations and produce thorough follow-up analytic reports. In 2013, the town Community Preservation Committee named the Association archaeology program as its "project of the year."
We are also indebted to the volunteers who over the years have donated several thousand hours of their time to our successful fieldwork effort.
Volunteers are always welcome. The farm dig is a singular opportunity to participate in a hands-on local history project. Previous experience is helpful but not necessary, as we will train new volunteers.
If you are interested in helping with future fieldwork, please contact Jack Duggan or call 508-385-8631 for more information.