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An archaeological dig at a 10,190-year-old site along the Shepaug River in Washington yielded artifacts from the Paleo-Indian period, the earliest known cultural period in the Northeast.

At an Early Man site discovered in Avon just this year, archaeologists produced the oldest radiocarbon date ever — 12,500 years ago — for human settlement in what is now Connecticut. New research at another Early Man site in the town of Washington has resulted in significant discoveries about the site’s earliest occupants. And the examination of archaeological sites associated with the Pequot War, often referred to as Connecticut’s oldest war, has dramatically reshaped modern knowledge of that conflict.

These are some of the many new finds which will be discussed and in some cases revealed publicly for the first time at the 14th annual Native American-Archaeology Roundtable on Nov. 9. Presented by the Institute for American Indian Studies in Washington, the roundtable will take place at Wamogo Regional High School in Litchfield from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. It will feature various speakers and participants on the cutting edge of archaeology in the state. More than 100 people attended the event last year.

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These stone pieces, found at a 10,190-year-old Paleo-Indian site along the Shepaug River in Washington, are believed to have been used in the hafting of stone points to wooden spear shafts. The tools are from the earliest known cultural period in the Northeast. The Templeton Site (6LF21) is a 10,190-year-old “Paleo-Indian” site located on a terrace of the Shepaug River in Washington, Connecticut

“Much of the archaeological information being presented at this Roundtable Conference is new — to the public and to other archaeologists,” says Lucianne Lavin, director of research and collections at the Institute for American Indian Studies, and the event’s chair and organizer. “Several of the presentations are based on unpublished data that has only recently been unearthed, quite literally, from Connecticut archaeology sites.”

Lavin emphasizes that these recent finds not only increase our knowledge of Native American history but also of Euro-American history. “Both of these histories are inexorably entwined after European visitation to the New World, and Native American history is American history, from its very beginnings thousands of years ago to today,” she says. 


Native American-Archaeology Roundtable

Nov. 9, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Wamogo Regional High School, Litchfield

860-868-0518, iaismuseum.org

This article appeared in the November 2019 issue of Connecticut Magazine. You can subscribe here, or find the current issue on sale hereSign up for our newsletter to get the latest and greatest content from Connecticut Magazine delivered right to your inbox. Got a question or comment? Email editor@connecticutmag.com, or contact us on Facebook @connecticutmagazine or Twitter @connecticutmag.