Calf Bones Point Way to Evidence of Pilgrims' Settlement

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November 25, 2016

Archaeologists have found evidence of the original Plimoth Plantation settlement, the evolution of the Pilgrims' landing.

The archaeology team, from the University of Massachusetts Boston, found tin, beads, musket balls, ceramics, and the bones of a calf, all of which led the team to the conclusion that they had found remnants of the famed 1620 settlement, whose residents celebrated the First Thanksgiving.

Digging near Plymouth on Burial Hill, which has a centuries-old cemetery, the archaeologists found a midden and a piece of stained soil that showed evidence of holding a post hole. Amidst the limited debris still available, the team found a few household artefacts and the bones of a calf, which the archaeologists named Constance.

The discovery of Constance's bones was enough to convince the team, since such domestication of cattle would not have been practiced by the Native Americans who lived in the area.

The archaeological team is part of a wider effort by the university's Fiske Memorial Centre for Archaeological Research to present more of a well-rounded picture of the Pilgrims' settlement in time for the 400-year anniversary of the landing, in 2020.

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