John Skibiski: Discovery may shed light on Northampton’s prehistoric people

Published: 10/29/2019 1:17:12 PM

Surprising discoveries were found in Northampton recently of artifacts from the Early Archaic Period of archeological history. Items of hearths, tools, botanicals and projectile points, which were found and used by humans perhaps some 9,000 years ago, according to details mentioned at Historic Northampton’s lecture earlier this month by the archeologist who headed a team of researchers.

Being the first such documented findings represents a valuable base for further research of the prehistoric folks who lived in Northampton. It is hard to imagine such early life was possible here, yet was here, apparently sustainable, during those primitive days.

Sad to say, the site is endangered, for it is programmed to be paved over by the city and state’s Department of Transportation. This rare site could be easily saved and preserved by retaining the present roadway, but adding a sophisticated monitored traffic signal, which also offers a substantial cost savings.

Destroying the site, which has given evidence to possible further artifacts concerning those primitive times, is unthinkable. Preservation here is required, but a public outcry now can only save destruction of the site from the half-acre of tree removal followed by road pavement. Research is nearing its finish, with carbon dating planned.

These findings begin a new chapter in Northampton’s history, one we are not yet familiar with. I am recommending that the city makes the effort to preserve the site and the artifacts from this new discovery and hope for further research.

John Skibiski​​​​​​​



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