Archeology at Black Rock Forest 

Archeology is the study of the peoples and culture of the past. Through the study of landscapes and material remains, we can learn more about the people that have lived and worked in Black Rock Forest. Archeologists, students, staff and volunteers at Black Rock Forest have worked to curate historic collections of over 5000 artifacts and make new discoveries through excavations. You can learn more about one of these excavations here.

Behind the Scenes

Watch archeologist, Dana Linck guide Black Rock Forest volunteers on how to clean artifacts found from around the Forest.

Highlights of the archeological collections 

Miscellaneous iron from one site (left to right): scale weight, hook (hearthside or farm equipment?), rod (wheel spoke end?), iron kettle or pan leg, latch staple (to receive and hold a sliding latch bar), cut nail (19th into 20th century structure or equipment), lump of iron (shattered cast iron?), another lump (bolt?), horseshoe (nearly parallel arms indicate a possible mule shoe; absence of shoe nails implies it was removed by a farrier and not lost during use), horseshoe (also likely removed by a farrier).
Clay marbles: a favorite children’s pastime.  These were commercially made, but some schools provided clay and a kiln for the children to make their own.
Toy wagon: no batteries needed.
Ceramic Washbowl: accompanied by a water pitcher for the morning wash up.
Cream pitcher with 6 Chinese characters on the bottom.
Ice box hinge.
Prehistoric spear/dart points (Bare Island, Brewerton and Normanskill forms with ages between about 1500 to 5000 years); left two may be unfinished.
Sledge hammer: 15 lb and well used;  For stone work, blacksmithing or general farm activities?
Ornamental Ironwork: if part of an ornamental hinge, did this dress up a gate, a home entry or …?
Bottle: “Clicquot Club” sparkling sider – Named after a French champaign and likely dating to the early 20th century.
Folding knife with a steel blade and brass frame.
Unidentified iron tool. Carriage spring reworked by a blacksmith.

This curation project was made possible through a generous grant from the Peck Stacpoole Foundation.