Evidence of Historic Native American Habitation at Cedar Dell Pond

October is Massachusetts Archaeology Month, and for this reason we highlight a UMass Dartmouth connection to an historic archaeological investigation that took place on campus grounds in the 1970s. Current students and staff may not be aware that the land surrounding Cedar Dell Pond, on the Eastern side of the campus outside of Ring Road, was a site used by Native Americans as long ago as 9,000-8,000 B.C.  Soon after construction began on the campus in the 1960s, Native American artifacts were exposed near Cedar Dell Pond, unearthed by bulldozers removing trees and vegetation.   Unfortunately, the initial finds were not identified or preserved, but several years later, in 1977, an archaeological investigation began, supervised  by Debra Frank of UMass Amherst.  The project was continued in 1978 and 1979, with the addition of another director, Kathleen Bragdon of Brown University, and the assistance of a small group of Southeastern Massachusetts University students.  A number of chipped stone artifacts (projectiles- or arrow heads) were uncovered and found to date, possibly, as far back as 9,000 BC.  A formal preliminary report by Bragdon and Frank is available for consultation in the Archives and Special Collections (F74.D25 B72 1978).  Additionally, an article was published in the Bulletin of the Massachusetts Archaeological Society, Volume 44, no. 2 (October, 1983), which is available online through Bridgewater State University’s Maxwell Library at  http://library.bridgew.edu/exhibits/BMAS/browse.html

Artifacts, final reports and field notes are preserved by the Office of the Massachusetts Historical Commission in Boston (project 19BR218).


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