The First Thanksgiving

Honoring today, Thanksgiving of 2016, Daily Archaeology has decided to make a post about the first thanksgiving as archeologists discover proof of the 1620 settlement of Plymouth where the first Thanksgiving was shared. After nearly 395 years of the Pilgrims settlement and foundation of Plymouth, the archaeological proof is finally coming to light. Archaeologists working with The University of Massachusetts and a team led by Fiske Center Associate Director David Landon were thrilled to find discoveries such as tins, pottery, trade beads and musket balls. The key find was the discovery of the bones of a calf, called Constance by the team. Since the original Pilgrims who settled Plymouth did not have domestic cattle, her remains prove that the calf lived and died among the original

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( The Archaeological dig In Plymouth, Mass. Photo Credit: Mass Boston Archaeology)

Pilgrims. While the team documents the finds and interprets their meanings, the discovery brings a bigger meaning to the finding of the original site of the colony. Around that exact spot, Pilgrims and Natives alike gathered for the English colonists annual Green Corn Celebration, which we now recognize as our Thanksgiving. This Green Corn Celebration was to celebrate the Pilgrims first really successful harvest, thanks to

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(Plimoth Plantation, Plymouth Mass. Photo Credit: Gray Line )

the Native American, Squanto, and his help in teaching the Pilgrims how to cultivate corn well in American soil that the English were so unaccustomed. Although the discovery of this historic settlement is monumental, the evidence actually began to appear four years prior. While Archaeologists found earthenware and other evidence of living, the finding of Constance the Calf really sealed the deal and proof to convincing evidence this is where the original settlement was situated, and eventually the first Thanksgiving was held. The Archaeologists currently working on the site were excited to find proof  prior to the 400th anniversary of the settlement, which was their goal. This discovery came within the first year of a three year $200,000 National Endowment of the Humanities grant to study the Plymouth Colony. More research and excavations will resume the summer of 2017. The discoveries made in  Plymouth help the American people tie back their roots, learn more about the pre-colonial settlement, and know the original Thanksgiving that we still celebrate to this day.

One Comment

  1. Wow, what an interesting article. I never knew this.

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