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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Hirundo Archaeology

We warmly welcome two interns, recently graduated Archaeologists: Matt Stirn (Davidson Collge) and Rebecca Sgouros (Boston University). Having completed their degrees, these two excitedly offered to come up and reinvigorate the archaeology in the area. 

Hirundo has not always been a wildlife refuge. Occupation of the area has been long and rich. In the 1970s University of Maine excavations proved the history of the site spanned over 5,000 years. These earliest communities relied both on the good fishing in the area, and on wetland resources.

Rebecca Sgouros will be giving a joint talk with local University of Maine professor Dr. David Sanger titled "The First People and First Landscape of the Penobscot Valley Region" on June 4, 2011. The talk will be held in the Shelter on the refuge at Gate 1, Parker Reed Shelter. Below is a brief summary of their talk.

"After the last ice age which ended around thirteen thousand years ago, the Penobscot River Valley changed dramatically. Environments developed that provided plentiful resources for the earliest inhabitants to settle. Changes in the climate and ecology of the area required ancient communities to continuously adapt and develop new hunting, gathering, and fishing practices to ensure survival. This talk will consider several sites within the local area and the evidence they provide for the changing landscape and food practices of the past."

While here, Matt and Rebecca are planning some great things for Hirundo archaeology. Their goals include: a survey of the area for identifying new sites, creating an online digital database of the past excavation's artifacts, adding an archaeology page to the Hirundo Wildlife Refuge website, the June 4 Archaeology Talk followed by show-and-tell with the artifacts, and planning some fun Archaeology Month events! October is Maine's Archaeology month and Hirundo plans to host a mock-dig for school kids to get a taste of the excitement for themselves.

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