A 2-acre property containing a portion of the Bull Brook II archaeological site is now permanently preserved. The site, which contains the remains of a significant Paleo-Indian occupation dating back to more than 10,000 years ago, was first discovered in the 1950s by a group of local avocational archaeologists known as the “Bull Brook Boys.” These men fully excavated the larger Bull Brook I site prior to its destruction by sand and gravel quarrying operations. During their investigations they discovered the smaller Bull Brook II site, a portion of which was never studied. The site contains artifacts including dating back to the earliest period of human occupation in the area.
Jennifer Ort, an archaeologist currently pursuing her doctorate at the University of New Hampshire, has undertaken extensive research on the Bull Brook sites and began conducting archaeological testing on the Bull Brook II site with permission of the owners, Christopher Conley and Candace Christianson. When they expressed their interest in preserving the property according to the wishes of Chris’ mother, Mary Conley, Ort put them in touch with the Archaeological Conservancy, the only national nonprofit dedicated to the permanent preservation of archaeological sites.
The Archaeological Conservancy is the only national non-profit organization in the United States dedicated to the preservation of significant archaeological sites. Established in 1980 by a group of private citizens and archaeologists dedicated to saving the past for the future, The Archaeological Conservancy acquires archaeological sites through purchase or gift and agrees to maintain these sites for the public on a permanent basis as an open space research preserve. Throughout its forty-year history the Conservancy has preserved over 550 archaeological sites across the country, ranging in age from the earliest habitation sites in North America to 19th-century industrial sites.
Chris Conley inherited the property from his mother, Mary, who was dedicated to the preservation of historic sites in the Ipswich, Massachusetts area. Her efforts are recognized by the Mary P. Conley Preservation Award that is given out annually by the Ipswich Historical Commission for exemplary restoration and preservation projects. Because of Mary’s dedication to preservation, Chris and Candace wanted to ensure that the two-acre property containing a portion of the Bull Brook II site will always be protected and available for archaeological research. To further help offset the costs of transferring and protecting the property the Elfrieda Frank Foundation has also kindly committed $15,000 to the Conservancy. This is the third property the Conservancy has helped protect in Massachusetts.
*Published by The Archaeological Conservancy, American Archaeology magazine showcases some of the nation’s finest writers and photographers in a beautiful design, tailored for a layperson audience. Readers explore the prehistoric world of North America’s earliest inhabitants, the historic past of modern-day cities, and everything in between. American Archaeology also reports on the Conservancy’s activities and the preservation cause nationwide. American Archaeology is available on Newsstands and local Bookstores. Subscriptions are available by becoming a member of the Archaeological Conservancy.
Categories: Native Americans