We May Finally Know Exactly Where the 1st Pilgrims Lived

And it only took 396 years
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 23, 2016 10:30 PM CST
Updated Nov 24, 2016 12:36 AM CST
Stock image   (Getty Images/capecodphoto)

(Newser) – We likely now know the exact location of the first Pilgrim settlement in the New World—thanks, in part, to a cow named Constance. The Boston Globe reports it's long been known that the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth in 1620, but it was never clear exactly where they built their settlement. Archaeologists from the University of Massachusetts Boston had been digging at a place called Burial Hill—a place believed to have served as a cemetery for the original settlement—for five weeks when they made an exciting find, according to Cape Cod Today. That find? The first evidence in downtown Plymouth of a "built environment" predating 1700.

The team found ceramics, musket balls, and more. One of the most important discoveries was evidence that a wooden post had once stood there. "It’s about much more than the artifacts," the head of the archaeology team says. It’s about trying to pin down soil color and trying to understand constructed features that are no longer there." Even better: The team found the remains of a cow, which they named Constance, buried at the site. Native Americans didn't keep domestic cattle. Kathryn Ness at the Plimoth Plantation history museum tells Fox News it's "an incredibly exciting discovery that can fundamentally change our understanding of the 17th-century Atlantic world." The team plans to do more digging next summer and hopes to figure out why Constance was buried instead of eaten. (Read more discoveries stories.)

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