Friday, January 12, 2007

Archeology at Hassenemessit - From the Grafton Daily

Curiosity piqued by a question from Jim Porter, I was looking on Google for information about Hassenemessit - the third "Praying Indian" village set up in the 1600's - when I came across this:

"From the beginning of October through Nov. 19, Hassanamesit Woods was the site of an archeological investigation led by Mr. Mrozowski and conducted by a group of students and volunteers. The investigation was overseen by field supervisor Jack Gary, a graduate student at UMass-Boston. The team was charged with gathering information that would be used to assist the town in managing the property in the future. They found — signs of habitation from the 18th and early 19th centuries — but traces of life prior to that, specific evidence of the praying village in the 17th century, still eludes them. (Thanks for submission to John LaPoint)" [Click here for full article...and scroll to the bottom for an interesting little document]

I have to chuckle: how many rock piles do you suppose they walked past while looking for archeology? For the record: I have looked in the woods at Sarah Doublet Forest (the Nashoba Praying Indian Village) and I have looked at King Philips Woods (another such village) and, at both places, there were plenty of rock piles. In fact these are generally good places to explore and Jim's prodding will eventually get some action from me- lets plan on going to Grafton in a few weeks.

1 comment :

JimP said...

There's even further reason for rock pile investigators to explore there. According to historical records, Eliot's future converts were given the freedom to choose the locations of their praying villages. This was corroborated by the Natick Praying Indians in a conversation I had with them. They further told me that, according to oral tradition, the Indians invariably chose their most sacred lands for those settlements. Therefore, the surrounding forest of Hassanamessit Woods would have been very special to the Indians indeed, and would have no doubt included important ceremonial areas.