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The Mohegan Tribe Archaeological Field School

November 18, 2007

Chief Harold Albert TantaquidgeonThe Mohegan Tribe (Mohegan means wolf) and Eastern Connecticut University Archaeological Field School is one of the oldest and most successful archaeological partnerships with any Native American tribe. This will be their 14th year investigating archaeological resources in Uncasville on one of the oldest Indian reservations in North America. The Mohegan Reservation (founded 1671) consists of a rich historic landscape brimming with known and undiscovered archaeological sites including a variety of pre-European Contact occupations, 17th century fortified village sites, 18th and 19th century Mohegan homesteads, tribal burial grounds and numerous other historic and sacred sites both ancient and modern.

The Field School is a rare opportunity to work directly with members of the Mohegan Tribe and its tribal government. Each archaeological project is authorized directly by the Mohegan Tribe’s Council of Elders. Besides learning and practicing archaeological techniques, students study the broad expanse of Mohegan history and heritage.

 The program places emphasis on exploring the historic relationship of archaeologists and Indigenous Peoples. Each summer, they host a speaker series of Native American professionals, medicine people, scholars, elders and dignitaries representing many tribes. They also participate in a number of field trip exchanges with nearby reservations. Each year, there has been a satisfying mix of Native and non-Native students (over 30 Mohegan tribal members have taken the course) which has enhanced the experience for both. The Mohegan Field School has become an exemplar of cooperation and partnership for archaeologists and Native Americans.Gladys Tantaquidgeon - Medicine Women

Contact information
Jeffery C. Bendremer, Ph.D.

The photograph to the right is of the late Gladys Tantaquidgeon – Medicine Women

Having first met anthropologist Frank G. Speck as a child growing up on Mohegan Hill, Gladys studied anthropology under him at the University of Pennsylvania from 1919-1926 and on and off for years thereafter. She went on to publish several of her own important works in the field and assisted Speck in researching and writing one of his most profound anthropological texts, The Delaware Big House Ceremony, 1931.

 Learn More…….

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