Committee Seeks Funds to Excavate on Peirce Island

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Peirce Island New Hampshire
Top: A historic map shows Peirce Island in Portsmouth and where the old Revolutionary War Fort Washington was located along the shore. Bottom: A photograph from the 1940s shows cows, open space and the mounds along the shore that were the remains of Revolutionary War-era Fort Washington on Peirce Island in Portsmouth. (Photos: Seacoastonline.com)

Summary of “Committee seeks $65K for Peirce Island archaeology study“, from Seacoast Online:

The Peirce Island Committee (New Hampshire) is asking Portsmouth city officials to fund $65,000 for further archaeological study of Revolutionary War and War of 1812 midden sites (aka dump or trash sites) that were discovered on the island and are described as historically significant.

Last fall, archaeologists found the sites during a survey to precede federally mandated upgrades to the city’s wastewater treatment plant on the island.

Kathleen Wheeler, the city’s archaeological consultant, provided a short report saying that one of the sites is comprised largely of shells, but also “broken bits of high-end ceramics.” She believes this midden to be associated with the Revolutionary War.

The second midden is more widespread in area and range of materials. It appears to date to the War of 1812.

The Peirce Island Committee has written to the City Council seeking funds for archaeologists to excavate 258 square feet in the two middens and at the base of earthen berms, to determine if those represent the earthworks for Fort Washington.

Read More: “Committee seeks $65K for Peirce Island archaeology study

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