Strawbery Banke Museum archaeologists have conducted some of the most extensive urban archaeology projects on the East Coast. Since the earliest excavations at Puddle Dock in the 1960s, historical artifacts and features have helped the museum interpret social behavior, cultural change, and daily life in the past. Strawbery Banke’s Collections Department houses over 1,000,000 artifacts, including ceramics, glass, metal, wood, bone, shell, seeds, and leather. The examination of these artifacts yields information about domestic life, maritime activities, industry, architecture, diet, horticultural practices and the local economy. Archaeology has also helped the museum to reconstruct buildings, wharves, gardens, roads, and pathways.

Archaeologists at Strawbery Banke have uncovered:

  • Artifacts and features reflecting human occupation over 10,000 years
  • Building foundations along former streets and alleys
  • Features and deposits behind dwellings
  • Historic water management and other utilities in the neighborhood
  • Information about historic landowners and tenants who occupied the historic structures
  • Evidence of Indigenous people, community leaders, immigrants, women and children, and enslaved Africans
  • Occupational transitions from farmers to tradesmen to merchants

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