- Department of Conservation & Recreation
Media Contact for DCR Celebrates Massachusetts Archaeology Month
Troy Wall, Press Secretary
BOSTON — The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) today announced special programing at two state park locations in the month of October to celebrate Massachusetts Archaeology Month. The programs, which are free for the public to attend, will be held at Maudslay State Park in the City of Newburyport on Saturday, October 6, 2018, from 10:00AM to 2:00PM, and Dighton Rock State Park in the Town of Berkley on Saturday, October 20, 2018, from 10:00AM to 2:00PM. Archaeology Month is celebrated throughout the United States and in several countries around the world, and seeks to connect people of all ages with human history and generate understanding and interest in the field of archaeology.
“For thousands of years, land within the Commonwealth was used by indigenous peoples, visitors, and settlers, and contained within our rich soils is a wealth of history still waiting to be discovered,” said Department of Conservation and Recreation Commissioner Leo Roy. “The Baker-Polito Administration is committed to fostering great interest in our shared history, and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate Archaeology Month than by digging into some of that history located within the Massachusetts state parks system.”
Maudslay State Park and Dighton Rock State Park are situated along the banks of major rivers, the Merrimack River and the Taunton River, which served as “highways” for the First People. Additionally, Dighton Rock is the most studied artifact in the United States because of its ancient petroglyphs carved into the rock face. During the two events offered by the DCR, visitors will be able to take part in group programs led by the agency’s archaeologist, Ellen Berkland, and staff as they teach visitors how to think like an archaeologist, including digging, screening and identifying artifacts, and documenting and recording soil levels. Other activities will focus on stone tool making, using a bowl-drill, grinding corn in the traditional way, ceramic technology, net making, and practicing atlatl throwing (hunting for megafauna). Furthermore, visitors can bring local artifacts to both events for experts to identify.
Everyone is welcome to the DCR’s Archaeology Month programs. Visitors can attend for an hour or stay for the entirety of the event. The agency asks that participants dress appropriately for the weather, drink water, and bring work gloves if interested in excavating and screening artifacts. Children must come accompanied by an adult with reasonable accommodations upon request. There is ample parking and parking fees do not apply. If visitors are unable to attend the special programing, the agency encourages everyone to visit historic properties across the state on self-guided tours to commemorate Archaeology Month and learn more about Massachusetts’ legacy of conservation efforts. Both of these activities are co-sponsored with the Massachusetts Archaeological Society.