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Dig extended at site of 1750s British and American encampments

An archaeological dig that was expected to wrap up this week at an 18th century site has yielded such interesting artifacts the task has been prolonged, the leading archaeologists of the dig stated. This long and meticulous six-week project was expected to end on Friday, but state officials have given extensions for the excavations in the Lake George Battlefield Park to proceed for another week or maybe two, according to David Starbuck, an anthropology professor at New Hampshire’s Plymouth University.

Location of Lake George Battlefield Park Photo Credit
Location of Lake George Battlefield Park Photo Credit

The team in charge of the excavation was thrilled to receive more time. About two dozen trenches were dug along a road that runs through the park, and have yielded information about the British and American encampments that were located there throughout the French and Indian War, 1755-59.

Among the artifacts discovered so far are uniform buttons, porcelain, high-quality pottery, gun flints, musket balls, and buckles.

Those discoveries, alongside a vast sum of butchered animal bones and oyster shells, suggest that the location might have been inhabited by high ranking officers. “Can we ever really prove that? Probably not,” professor Starbuck said. “But given the quality of the artifacts, it’s the best we’ve ever seen at any of our military digs.”

It is the third consecutive summer that the archaeological school, sponsored by the nearby State University of New York at Adirondack, has been working at the park, located on Lake George’s southern shore 55 miles north of Albany. Students and volunteers have been digging at other spots in the park over the last three summers, but this is the first time excavation work has been carried out at this exact location. “This is a special spot,” Starbuck said.

Lake George Battlefield State Park, Warren County, NY Photo Credit
Lake George Battlefield State Park, Warren County, NY Photo Credit

Hundreds of yards away, excavations have exposed more of the stone walls that were part of the bastion of Fort George, which was built in the year of 1759. Construction was halted on the fort before it was completed because the threat of attack had diminished, making it strategically redundant.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for The Vintage News