Area scene of "New France" archaeological digs

It may not be a crime scene from CSI, but a team of archaeologists is counting on the public to provide crucial evidence as they try to solve some historical mysteries.

Researchers are hoping residents of the area where Native Americans and early French and English settlers are believed to have populated the banks of Lake Champlain will help them learn more about Vermonts early inhabitants.

Do you have an old cellar hole or foundation in your yard? Have you found Native American pre-Columbian artifacts or historic artifacts in your yard or farm field? asked Vermont State Archeologist Giovanna Peebles. Cellar holes, spear point, arrow points, other stone tools, gunflints, even broken pieces of ceramics are all of interest.

The Voyages of Discovery Project team is hoping to discover archeological and historic sites in Addison, Bridport, and Panton as part of an ongoing project that will coincide with the Champlain Quadricentennial, the 400th anniversary of Frenchman Samuel de Champlains visit to the lake bearing his name.

Peebles and University of Maine Farmington Archaeology Research Center archeologist Stephen Scharoun would like to learn about these finds and their find-spots. They hope to record stories about these sites and artifacts, photograph them, and map where they were found, as well as document area history.

Do you remember stories from your grandparents about local history that were never written down? Peebles said. We are very interested in hearing them.

As part of the community-based archeological study this summer of mid-1700s French sites along Lake Champlain, the Chimney Point State Historic Site and archaeologists are asking for help to document and map the fragile traces of this little known but significant settlement. A dig was conducted earlier this summer at the Daughters of the American Revolution State Park nearby.

archaeologists are also hoping to learn more about the next generation of European settlers, the English, who moved into the same area after 1759, according to Elsa Gilbertson, director of the Chimney Point State Historic Site. These lands were occupied by indigenous people for thousands of years prior to the Europeans; recording traces of their settlements is also important.

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