Partner Event: “Connecticut Before History: The Deep Story of Human Settlement of the Farmington Valley” 5/6

“Unearthing History: The Discovery of a 12,500 year old Paleo-Indian Site along the Farmington River in Avon, CT” webinar series continues with Connecticut Before History: The Deep Story of Human Settlement of the Farmington Valley

Thursday, May 6 at 7:00pm

Series created by the Avon Historical Society, Avon Free Public Library & Avon Senior Center. Sponsored by a grant from the Farmington Bank Community Foundation.

The partnership of the Avon Historical Society, Avon Free Public Library and Avon Senior Center is pleased to present the third lecture in a five-part webinar series “Unearthing History: The Discovery of a 12,500 year old Paleo-Indian Site along the Farmington River in Avon, CT.”  The second entitled “Connecticut Before History:  The Deep Story of Human Settlement of the Farmington Valley” will be presented by Dr. Ken Feder, Archaeologist, Central CT State University.  It will be held on Thursday, May 6 beginning at 7:00pm via Zoom through a link from the Library. It is available free of charge.  Sign up at:  www.avonctlibrary.info

The Farmington Valley was originally settled by human beings more than 10,000 years ago. The Farmington River Archaeological Project, led by Feder, has revealed remains of the villages, hunting encampments, and quarries used by these first settlers. Similar to the way police investigate the scene of a crime, archaeologists locate, recover, and examine evidence that reveals the scene of a life lived in the past. Feder will discuss some of the sites his crews have excavated and share the stories that can be told of the lives of the people who lived, worked, and died in those ancient Farmington Valley communities. According to Feder, “the valley has long been a homeland to the Native People of Southern New England where they quarried stone for tools, collected clay for pottery, hunted animals, gathered plants, built their homes, and lived out their lives”.

The “Unearthing History” series, sponsored by a grant from the Farmington Bank Community Foundation, is being held in response to the 2019 excavation of a 12,500-year-old (10,000BC) Paleo-Indian site six feet below ground during a CT Department of Transportation construction project of the now completed bridge on Old Farms and Waterville Roads at Route 10 in Avon, CT.  The survey uncovered more than 15,000 artifacts that are characteristic of the Early and Middle Paleo-Indian periods.  The site is named for Brian D. Jones, the late Connecticut State Archaeologist, who led the effort to dig deep based on earlier excavations in the area over the past few decades. As of this writing, this site is considered the oldest archaeological site of its kind in the Northeast.   

According to Dr. Lucianne Lavin of the Institute for American Indian Studies in Washington, CT, the last Ice Age in this region began to melt away about 17,500BP (Before the Present).  As it receded, a lush new land was exposed that provided for animal life to return about 13,500BP in the form of tundra-grazing animals such as mastodons, mammoths, horses, giant beaver, caribou, and more.  The ancient communities of the Paleo-Indians are thought to have begun to arrive in the northeast after that time in search of those animals for food. They were the first settlers of what is now Connecticut and southern New England.  (Connecticut’s Indigenous Peoples, by Lucianne Lavin, 2013, Yale University Press)

To register to attend this event, please visit:  www.avonctlibrary.info