"Taylor-Bray Farm is unique ..I can't think of another site like this. We will be able to compare the material found here with other local and regional sites to better understand many aspects of prehistoric and early historic life...the farm also has great potential to educate people about the importance of archaeology and the need to preserve & protect sites like this."...Craig Chartier, project archaeologist.
Taylor-Bray Farm is an archaeological gem representing thousands of years of human occupation. Native American artifacts found at the site indicate a seasonal use of the property dating back at least three thousand years. Moreover the farm is a significant 17th century Plymouth Colony site, which also has yielded thousands of artifacts from the 18th & 19th centuries reflecting the daily lives of the people who called the place home. Town Community Preservation grants and volunteer efforts make possible the preservation of a rare historic property as well as build pride in our town. (To learn some details about the project, please see Archaeology and History at the Taylor-Bray Farm, Yarmouth Port, MA)
Archaeology work began informally in 2009 when association volunteers removing modern modifications to the late 18th century farmhouse began discovering pottery artifacts under the floorboards. This work has since grown into an organized, multi-year effort to preserve and learn about the past.One way to think about a multi-year year historic preservation undertaking like this one is to imagine a series of building blocks that are being carefully assembled but do not necessarily come in a preordained order. Despite a carefully planned approach there are many aspects that we have to play by ear as each excavation season reveals new secrets and clues about what we should be looking for next. For instance, in October 2012 we set out to find the site of Richard Taylor's 17th century farmhouse and we did. But we got surprised on two scores. We found TWO HOUSES -- one appears to be the original 17th century home and the other appears to be a separate structure built some years later. Our second surprise was the discovery within a few feet of the north cellar wall of the 17th century house of a prehistoric Native American cache pit that was probably used to store food like dried corn or nuts.
Volunteer participation is an important component of the archaeology work. In October 2012, thirty-four volunteers contributed approximately 800 hours to our fieldwork effort. The volunteers included a group of students from Dennis-Yarmouth High School. Public outreach is central to our work and we hope to cement a long-term relationship with the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History, the region's educational and research center for archaeology on the Cape.
Archaeology at Taylor-Bray Farm is done largely by volunteers working closely with our professional archaeologist, Craig Chartier. We encourage you to join us. Contact Jack Duggan to learn more.
Craig Chartier works primarily in southeastern New England and has taken a great interest in Taylor-Bray Farm. Click here to learn more about his organization, Plymouth Archaeological Rediscovery Project.
Dennis-Yarmouth High School students - Juliana Costa-Bordon, Alican Anderson, Devin Grabowski, Sydney Beless, Saray Dean, Brandon Milward, Ryan Downs, Ryan Weil, Trevor Work - and their teacher, Cliff Miller - were student/archaeologists at Taylor-Bray Farm, fall 2012.