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Archaeologists Find 18th-Century Store October 8, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Archaeology.

This history-rich Hudson River community has yielded a museum’s worth of 18th-century military artifacts over the decades, from musket balls to human skeletons.

But a colonial soldier’s daily lot wasn’t all fighting and bloodshed. They had their share of down time, and that’s where the sutler came in, offering for sale two of the few diversions from frontier duty: alcohol and tobacco.

A five-year-long archaeological project has unearthed the 250-year-old site of a merchant’s establishment that sold wine, rum, tobacco and other goods to the thousands of soldiers who passed through this region during the French and Indian War, when Fort Edward was the largest British military post in North America.

After receiving permission from the property owners to excavate the site, Starbuck’s team of students, volunteers and professional archaeologists began digging in 2001. Over the next five summers, they uncovered remnants of a least one sutler’s store, including fireplace bricks and a charred staircase and beams in what was the dirt-floor basement of the structure. Scattered about the site were various coins, thousands of broken and intact clay pipes and glass fragments from wine and rum bottles, evidence that the store doubled as a tavern.

Among the biggest finds: a 19-inch British bayonet in nearly pristine condition and an intact bottle.

Read this article > Archaeologists Uncover Frontier Store

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