Archaeology

"Ample Butternuts"
                              Photo courtesy of  Power and Petersen, Seasons of Prehistory

The excavation of the Winooski site began in 1972 when a member of the Vermont Archaeological Society (VAS) noticed cultural materials eroding from the bank of the Winooski River.  This led to VAS testing of the site through the summer and into 1973.  More tests were later done as part of cultural resource management (CRM) which is mandated by state and federal laws in order to preserve such historic sites as Winooski.  The test site is located miles downstream from the mills at Winooski.

 

More research was done when the construction of a large industrial building threatened the historic site.  Laws requiring more testing led to two archaeological surveys done by personnel from the University of Vermont (UVM).  This work helped lead to the declaration of the Winooski Site as included in the National Register of Historic Places. Involved in an effort to deal with the construction of the new building were State Archaeologists, members of the Division of Historic Preservation, the city of Winooski, the developer of the industrial plant, the federal government, and UVM.  This group had 2 goals:

1) To preserve as much of the site as possible

~and~

2) To recover archeological data from the area that would be effected by the construction.
                  

A 13 week field season then went underway in 1978.  This research focused on an "L" shaped portion of the Winooski site where the parking lot and water line of the future industrial building would be.  This was only 10% of the whole area of the site.

 

Results

Artifact categories:

  ~Ceramics     ~Cordage and Basketry    ~Chipped and Ground stone     ~Metal    ~Bone

Artifacts of stone, clay, bone, and copper.

 

Made from organic material & decayed in acidic soil:

-Clothing, completely extinct
-Basketry and cordage, left negative impressions on pottery sherds verifying their
existence    

Levana points from Winooski Site
                               Photo courtesy of Seasons of Prehistory; Power and Petersen

 

Projectile points

Most popular- the triangular Levana point (left)
Other points- pentagonal, side notched,corner notched, contracted stem, lanceolate and long, narrow triangular points.   

Evidence of chipped stone tool making

Fire hearths for food preparation

Majority was pottery- 11, 341 sherds

Pottery sherds from Winooski site
Photo courtesy of Seasons of Prehistory; Power and Petersen