Skip to main content

The Archaeological Conservancy and Binghamton University  are very happy to announce the start of the 2017 Binghamton Field School investigating an 18th century Native American village site in northern Pennsylvania. The site, known as “Queen Esther’s Town,” is one of several sites on land preserved by the Archaeological Conservancy.  The Queen Esther’s Town Preserve is located in northern Pennsylvania. The site, which is more than 92 acres, sits along an expansive floodplain near the confluence of the Susquehanna and Chemung Rivers. After working for over a decade to acquire the property, the Conservancy was finally able to purchase this historic site.

The locale was home to a community of Delaware Indians and led by Queen Esther, a prominent woman of French and Native descent, during the American Revolution. Historic records describe the village as having 70 houses and cattle grazing lands, all of which were destroyed in September 1778 as part of the American campaign against British-allied Native American villages. The area was surface collected by collectors and avocational archaeologists during the 20th century, but little is known about the village layout and individual structures. This is the first controlled subsurface investigation of the village site, guided by the results of a geophysical survey this spring. The project is being led by Professor Siobhan Hart and Dr. Nina M. Versaggi of Binghamton University.

The five-week field school includes intensive training in Northeastern Native American history, archaeological survey techniques and excavation, laboratory methods and artifact analysis, archaeological interpretation, and other kinds of evidence integral to interpretations of the past, such as geology, oral history, and written records. As the work is being done on a site preserved by The Archaeology Conservancy many non-destructive techniques are being employed, and much of the site will remain intact. Students started with metal detecting surveys. Now test pit excavations are underway, as the field school completes their second week.

The Archaeological Conservancy and Binghamton University are excited to learn what may be discovered about the true extent and layout of the site during this summer’s field school on this truly historic site.

About The Archaeological Conservancy

The Archaeological Conservancy, established in 1980, is the only national non-profit organization dedicated to acquiring and preserving the best of our nation’s remaining archaeological sites. Based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the Conservancy also operates regional offices in Mississippi, Maryland, Ohio, and Nevada. The Conservancy continues to be rated a 4 star charity by Charity Navigator. The Conservancy has preserved over 500 sites across the nation, ranging in age from the earliest habitation sites in North America to a 19th-century frontier army post. Learn More About The Archaeological Conservancy.