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Shelly Angers, N.H. Department of Cultural Resources
(603) 271-3136

Archaeologists to explore Concord, Durham sites

The New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources, through its State Conservation and Rescue Archaeology Program (SCRAP), will be operating two archaeological field schools this summer. One takes place at prehistoric sites in the south-central uplands of Concord, N.H. and the other at the site of the Field-Bickford Garrison in Durham, N.H.

The Capitol Area Field School, located on upper portions of tributaries in the Merrimack River, will focus on developing a research plan to identify likely areas where archaeological sites may be found. It will also incorporate a variety of field techniques, including walk over and shovel test surveys. Participants will be taught basic field recovery and artifact identification skills and will use the Division of Historical Resources’ archaeological laboratory facilities in Concord to learn basic laboratory processing methods. Students will be taught the basics of field mapping and related environmental recording techniques. There will be two two-week sessions, beginning June 14 and June 28. Field work takes place on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., with occasional evening lectures. For more information, visit

Again this year, the Oyster River Environs Archaeology Project (OREAP) will take place at the site of the Field-Bickford Garrison, located on Durham Point at the mouth of the Oyster River on Little Bay in Durham. The Garrison was built prior to 1638 and served as a pioneer homestead, tavern and ferry landing, and the site was one of the fortified structures attacked in the famous Oyster River Plantation Massacre in 1694.

This summer, OREAP will continue to work on the Garrison site itself, define the limits of the structure, locate the well, identify associated outbuildings and related ferry activities, and establish a baseline of information for a broader investigation of this and other Oyster River Plantation sites. This field school runs in two-week sessions beginning June 14 and June 28, operating on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Work on the site will be supervised by Craig J. Brown, in coordination with Boisvert. For more information, visit

“New Hampshire has an outstanding mix of archaeological sites from prerecorded times through recent history,” said Boisvert. “No matter what the time period, they offer insight into the daily lives of those who lived here before us.”

Participation in the 2010 Field Schools is open to anyone 16 or older, and advance registration is required. There is no fee to participate as a volunteer, however, a $35 donation by each participant will help to defray the cost of supplies and instructional materials. Individuals seeking graduate or undergraduate credit for the Capitol Area Field School should contact Plymouth State University for more information.

New Hampshire’s Division of Historical Resources, the “State Historic Preservation Office,” was established in 1974. The historical, archaeological, architectural and cultural resources of New Hampshire are among its most important environmental assets. Historic preservation promotes the use, understanding and conservation of such resources for the education, inspiration, pleasure and enrichment of New Hampshire’s citizens. For more information, visit or call 603-271-3483.




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