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Early Sites Foundation (1954-1971)



  • Existence: 1954 - 1971

The Early Sites Foundation, a nonprofit corporation of Hanover, New Hampshire, concerned itself with archeological investigation of stone structure on sites primarily in New England, but also in Eastern Canada. Hope of discovering a pre-columbian settlement was apparently the chief motivation of the organization. It was established in 1954; and later influenced by Vilhjalmur Stefansson, the Foundation enlarged its scope to include preservation of cultural, anthropological material. Of particular interest in this vein in the Cooke Study of Schefferville, Quebec Indian tribes. The most thorough archeological study of the Foundation was at Salem, New Hampshire, the so called Mystery Hill Caves, in 1955. Other New England sites included Ackworth in New Hampshire, Hancock and South Royalton in Vermont, and Mendon, Hopkinton and Upton in Massachusetts. No evidence produced by the Foundation indicated pre-columbian habitation but a concurrent development verified the general hypothesis under which its members worked. In 1961, Anne and Helge Ingstad, Norwegian archeologists unearthed traces of Norse dwellings located at L'Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland. In the summer of 1964 a Foundation group worked at the Newfoundland site under the direction of Anne Ingstadt and one of its members uncovered a Norse artifact in undisturbed soil. Activity in the Foundation appears to have dwindled in the 1960s and the Foundation was dissolved in 1971.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Early Sites Foundation papers

Identifier: MS-101
Overview Early Sites Foundation, (1954-1971). The collection contains official papers, reports, correspondence, publications, and unpublished research materials relating to archaeological investigations in northeastern North America.