Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Archæology of the Pioneer Valley


You can use this site to review my talk or to follow the many references and resources. If you didn't attend, you can catch up right here. I hope this material will be of help to students and to anyone wishing to research the topic further.

You'll find links to organizations, readings, maps, museums, and other helpful material. This page is not static, but dynamic; it will grow over time. So come back and visit whenever you need an archaeology fix. Pass on the web address ( of this blog to anyone who may be interested.

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Exploring this Site

This site contains over 100 links to resources, including all of the slides presented.

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In spite of such place-names as Wawbeek Rock, Hockanum Hill, Sheomet Lake, Indian Cave, and Indian Kettles, there is no evidence of prehistoric occupation in Warwick. The Massachusetts Historical Commission's 1982 Reconnaissance Survey Report for the town stated:
"There were no reported native Contact period sites. The area's rugged terrain and absence of high quality agricultural land and large freshwater ponds or lakes suggests period occupation was limited to small to moderate sized fishing and hunting encampments."
The "Contact period" mentioned above refers to the period from 1500 to 1620. Moreover, the Massachusetts Cultural Resource Information System (MACRIS) database shows no pre-historic sites in Warwick. In 2008 the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation issued the Warwick Reconnaissance Report which stated:
"There are no documented archaeological sites recorded with MHC."
"MHC" means the Massachusetts Historical Commission. This is not to say that native Americans never lived in or visited Warwick. We just have no evidence that they did so.

The 1982 MHC Reconnaissance Survey Report speculates on possible dwelling areas:
"Period sites probably focused on the relatively level land in the general vicinity of Warwick village and south to Hastings Pond, the hill overlooking the previously-mentioned pond, the hill immediately southeast of Richard's Reservoir and the mixture of dry and marshy lowlands south of Moore's Pond."
  • Warwick Free Library should acquire titles in archaeology, native Americans, and local history.
  • Schedule a historic map presentation by David Allen.
  • Reprint Morse's history of Warwick.
  • Invite a professional archaeologist to speak.
  • Plan an event for the 2013 Archaeology Month.
Contact Me

If you need any more information, help with viewing the linked resources or downloading maps and books, you can reach me at 498-5742 or Please let me know if you find an artifact or know of a private collection. Give me a ring if you'd like to visit any of the sites.


I'm grateful for Ed Lemon's invitation to address the Warwick Historical Society.