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Digging Into the Past: Sturgeon Fishing Encampments


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Analysis of Sturgeon Fishing Encampments from Block Island, Rhode Island
with David Wilson

Free with Museum Admission

Several archaeological deposits along the shores of Block Island, RI were exposed by the destructive wave action of Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Once exposed, these deposits were excavated by the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center and were found to contain various faunal remains including fish. Analysis of these fish remains by species and concentration leads to the conclusion that these coastal sites were used primarily as sturgeon fishing camps. Selected ethnohistoric reports and historical accounts support these conclusions, yet alternative explanations for the sites’ context are also explored and discussed.

David Wilson graduated from the University of Connecticut with a double major in anthropology and marine science. His introduction to archaeology was through the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center field school, where he initially worked on battlefield sites. Mr. Wilson currently works for the Public Archaeology Survey Team, a cultural resource management firm in Storrs, Connecticut.