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Archaeology and History of Early New England

May 4-11, 2024

$2,895 per person ($400 single supplement)

Join us on our inaugural tour of archaeological and historical sites of New England! During the week we’ll cover a broad expanse of time, from learning about the Native communities who first called this region home, to exploring the archaeology of early colonial settlement, religion, and American industry.

The trip will be led by Conservancy staff as well as expert guide Dr. Donald Linebaugh, and includes stays in historic inns. The tour begins and ends in Manchester, New Hampshire, and will include stops in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Connecticut.

Tour Schedule


Join us in Manchester, New Hampshire for a welcome reception and a kick-off lecture by noted archaeologist, Dr. Donald Linebaugh, Professor at the University of Maryland School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation.

May 4


We’ll begin the tour with a visit to the Strawbery Banke Museum, a large outdoor history museum that covers Native American history of the region through colonial settlement. It focuses primarily on early life in the waterfront town of Portsmouth, the oldest neighborhood in New Hampshire settled by Europeans. Then we’ll make our way south to the Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site in Massachusetts. This site of early American industry is not only important for being the first integrated ironworks in North America, but also because it was the focus of work done by archaeologist Roland Robbins, who helped pioneer the field of industrial archaeology. From Saugus we’ll head west to Concord, Massachusetts where we’ll spend the night at the Colonial Inn.

May 5


We’ll start with a short drive to Walden Pond, where philosopher Henry David Thoreau lived for two years. His important work, Walden, or, Life in the Woods, was written about this experience. We’ll see the site of his cabin and learn about the archaeology of the site, which was researched by Roland Robbins. We’ll take a short drive to Minute Man National Historical Park where you will have a chance to explore the exhibit space during our lunch hour. Then we’ll drive to Plimoth Plantation which replicates the original settlement of Plymouth Colony by the Pilgrims in the 17th century. We’ll have free time to explore the large complex of living history museums. We’ll spend the night along the coast in downtown Plymouth.

May 6


We’ll begin with a journey inland to the town of Middleborough, where the Conservancy recently protected an important Native American village site known as the Nemasket River Village. We’ll stop at Oliver Mill Park where archaeologists from Public Archaeology Laboratory, Inc. (PAL) will talk about some of their work in the area. We’ll also meet with representatives from the Native Land

Conservancy, the first Indigenous-led land conservation group east of the Mississippi, and discuss their work as they were partners on preserving the Nemasket site. For lunch, we’ll briefly stop at Slater Mill, an important textile mill along the Blackstone River in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. We’ll then stop at the PAL office for a behind-the-scenes tour of how a cultural resource management company operates.

From Rhode Island, we’ll head southwest to Mystic, Connecticut where we’ll have time to explore Mystic Seaport, the largest maritime museum in the country. It contains a reconstructed 18th-century seaport village, numerous exhibits, and a collection of sailing ships and boats. We’ll spend the night in Mystic.

May 7


We’ll start our day with a visit to the Pequot Museum to learn about the deep history of Native Americans in the region. We’ll explore the impressive interactive exhibits that guide visitors through Native lifeways from more than 10,000 years ago up through the present. After lunch we’ll head north to Massachusetts to visit the site of Historic Deerfield. We’ll have time in the afternoon to get oriented to the large collection of historic houses and museums that make up Deerfield before we retire to the Deerfield Historic Inn where we’ll spend the next two nights.

May 8


We’ll spend the entire day in Historic Deerfield exploring the museums and living history sites that highlight the history of the town and surrounding Connecticut River Valley. Deerfield was settled by Europeans as one of New England’s frontier villages in the 1600s, a time period that was fraught with conflict with Native communities, in particular the Pocumtuck Nation, who already lived in the area.

May 9


We’ll head north to New Hampshire to explore Canterbury Shaker Village, which was one of several Shaker communities founded in the 19th century. The Shakers were a religious Protestant sect founded in England in 1747. We’ll tour the village which has 25 original buildings, 4 reconstructed buildings, and nearly 700 acres of protected fields, gardens, and forests. A considerable amount of archaeology has been done by Plymouth State College to better understand the lives of the people living in this community. After lunch guests will have free time to explore the expansive site. Then we’ll return to Manchester to conclude the tour.

May 10


Participants depart for home.

May 11

New England

Tour Details

Cost Includes first-class hotel accommodations based on double occupancy (single supplement is $400), all lunches, happy hours, admittance fees, tips, tours, background reading material and surface travel via air-conditioned bus.

Not included are meals other than lunch, and travel to and from Manchester, New Hampshire.

The tour involves moderate walking.

For more information about our upcoming tours, please email or feel free to call us at (505) 266-1540.


The adventure starts now