Document Type


Publication Date



Community-engaged scholarship, learning, and service are becoming important parts of university missions, ensuring that academic projects do not just “take” but also give back in meaningful ways. For Native American communities and archaeologists who come from and work with them, this kind of research sensitivity and community accountability is fundamentally important. Archaeological projects with, by, and for Native American communities vary as much in their structures and goals as the communities themselves. In order to meet the desires and needs of each community, two archaeological field schools at UMass Boston – Hassanamesit Woods (Grafton, Massachusetts) and Eastern Pequot (North Stonington, Connecticut) – have employed different levels of consultation and collaboration to engage the Nipmuc and the Eastern Pequot communities in the archaeology conducted on their lands. Similarities and differences between artifacts unearthed speak to each community’s unique experiences over the last 400 years, providing new insights to spark conversations between these indigenous groups and the archaeologists and students who work with them. The artifacts discovered fall into four main categories – connections to a deeper past, foodways, architecture, and daily lives – that broadly encapsulate life at a Nipmuc homesite and at several 18th- and 19th-century households on the Eastern Pequot reservation.

Community Engaged/Serving

Part of the UMass Boston Community-Engaged Teaching, Research, and Service Series.