Document Type

Research Report

Publication Date



Two phases of archaeological investigations were conducted at the Old Manse in Concord, MA, in advance of a proposed visitor center and other construction activity at the property. In 2016, a geophysical survey was carried out over the parking lot and in the area east of the historic barn location. Although subsequent test excavations had been proposed for the same areas, these were not carried out because the construction project was put on hold. In 2017, five shovel test pits and one excavation unit were excavated in an area west of the current garden in an area that was proposed for percolation test trenches for a septic system. This report covers the results of both phases of work. The geophysical surveys detected utilities, possible outlines of a former agricultural outbuilding (previously archaeologically tested), and broad differences in the subsurface deposits of different parts of the property. Three of the shovel test pits did not uncover significant features or deposits, but two others contained deep deposits of construction and demolition debris seemingly dated to the middle of the 18th century. One of these was expanded into a 1 by 1 m excavation unit which encountered a deeply buried (130 cm below surface) fieldstone foundation, possibly from a domestic structure the predates the standing 1770 Old Manse. Because of this potentially significant archaeological feature, percolation tests were not carried out in this area. No intact Native features or deposits were found, but we did recover 5 quartz flakes, 3 rhyolite flakes, and 3 possible pieces of Native ceramic in mixed, historic period deposits. We also recovered a piece of colorless glass that appeared to be bifacially worked.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.