The Western Connecticut State University Department of Social Sciences conducts an Archaeology Field School for college students interested in uncovering the rich history of Connecticut. During this summer’s Field School, students spent four weeks cataloguing artifacts from the 2021 excavation from the Templeton site, and excavating a site known as Deer Run in Warren.
According to WCSU Professor of Anthropology Dr. Christine Hegel-Cantarella, this site dates from the late Archaic period (4000 BC-2000 BC) through the woodland time period. The pottery found by students working at the site date from 700BC to 550 AD.
Among the items found were multiple fire hearts, a large mortar and pestle, knifes, scrapers, cooking stones, fire-cracked rock and calcined bones. Projectile points included Brewerton, Vosberg, Snook Kill, Fox Creek, Greene, Levanna, Lamoka, and Squibnocket. Pottery excavated included untyped cord-wrapped stick stamped Vinette Dentat and Vinette Rocker.
All the items are now housed nearby in Washington, Connecticut, at the Institute for American Indian Studies (IAIS) for future analysis. This is a unique and historically important site in the state of Connecticut. The students involved in this summer dig were inspired by what they learned, and some have continued to volunteer at IAIS and at the site following the end of the course.
The Field School has been led by the brilliant and well-loved archaeologist Dr. Cosimo Sgarlata for many years. Sgarlata passed away in May, and Craig Nelson and Faline Schneiderman, both long-time colleagues of Sgarlata with field excavation and cultural resource management expertise, took the reins to ensure that students could experience the 2022 Field School.
*Photo credit Craig Nelson