Vermont Archaeology Month

Vermont Archaeology Month Celebrates its 23rd Year: Learn and Explore 13,000 Years of Vermont History

Join us each September for Vermont Archaeology Month (VAM)! Founded in 1995 by the Vermont Archaeology Society, VAM highlights Vermont’s remarkable ancient and historic past through informative lectures, interesting workshops, hands-on demonstrations and fun outdoor recreation opportunities.

2019 Events:


August 31st     Native Pottery Workshop and Flintknapping Demonstration

ECHO, Leahy Center for Lake Champlain, 1 College St, Burlington, Vermont 05401

Pottery Demonstration from 12:30 - 2:00 PM, flintknapping demonstration from 2:30 - 4:00 PM

Join experimental archaeologist Charlie Paquin as he first conducts a Native pottery-making demonstration followed by a demonstration of flint-knapping; the Native American art of make spear and arrow points from stone. During the latter demonstration, attendees are welcome to bring artifacts they might wish to know more about to Charlie for interpretation.

Free with Leahy Center admission


August 31st & September 1st     Soldiers Atop the Mount

Mount Independence State Historic Site, Orwell, VT.

Reenactors honor the 1776-1777 history of Mount Independence during this living history weekend.  Saturday’s popular interactive Baldwin Trail Walkabout features experts at trail stations bringing the site’s history to life. Follow soldiers on a woods skirmish, annual reading of Declaration of Independence on Sunday, camp life and skill demonstrations, and activities for all ages. Illustrated talks both days. Call (802) 948-2000 for details.

Cost $6 per person


September 5th     Something of Value: First Contact, Catholicism, Indigenous Warfare, and the Fur Trade

Ethan Allen Homestead Museum, 1 Ethan Allen Homestead, Burlington, Vermont 05408

6:00 – 9:00 PM

We begin with the nature of Native American Identity and the unique culture and language of the Wabanaki peoples.  We then learn about the huge political and ecological upheavals caused by the arrival of European diseases, artifacts and that forever changed the ways that the Abenakis related to each other, to the spirit world and their plant and animal relations.  The French and the English explorers, traders and colonists all had different motives in contacting and working with or exploiting the Abenakis and the Abenakis in turn exploited the newcomers.  We explore the latest thinking on how this "First Contact" system worked that have replaced old racist conquest or assimilationist concepts. Please pre-enroll at: 

$20 per person – Free for Indigenous Citizens


September 7th     Of Time and Light: American Lighting Devices 1600-1800

Ethan Allen Homestead Museum, 1 Ethan Allen Homestead, Burlington, Vermont 05408

10:00 AM – 1:00 PM

Early American Lighting is a fascinating field of study for people interested in the history of science and technology, collecting or trading American antiques, and Early American interior design.   Vermont is uniquely situated to represent not only the well-known British Tradition New England lighting, but until 1763, it represented the bewildering array French/Continental lamps and candleholders that would have appeared in Vermont  New French marine, military and mission cabin interiors. Join Prof. Frederick M. Wiseman as he shares slides, stories  and historic examples of almost forgotten Vermont lighting systems -- from Abenaki campfire "fire-lays" to the crude 16th century "Capstan" candlesticks of New France to Early Victorian Solar Lamps.  In addition to history and technology, Wiseman will share insights and tips on collecting, restoring and using these beautiful traces of the past.  Over forty examples of  c. 1550-1850 Lighting Devices from Prof. Wiseman's research collection will be on display after the lecture. Please enroll here:

$20 per person


September 7th     Finding Native America: The Ancient Civilizations of New World

Ethan Allen Homestead Museum, 1 Ethan Allen Homestead, Burlington, Vermont 05408

2:00 – 5:00 PM

Abenaki corn, beans and squash, as well as many of their spiritual beliefs have their ultimate origin in an amazing cultural nexus that stretched from Central Mexico to Northern Central America-- a place called Mesoamerica. Learn about Professor Wiseman's 25 years of academic research into the beginning of Native farming and the reasons for the rise of social complexity of Indigenous American Civilization.  We then explore their thousands of years of artistic, architectural and religious sophistication, and the newly-revealed reasons why civilization fell.  Finally, we trace the Mesoamerican strain to Vermont and what it means to Abenakis as Indigenous Persons today. Register online at:

$20 per person – Free for Indigenous Citizens


September 14th     The Green Corn Ceremony

Ethan Allen Homestead Museum, 1 Ethan Allen Homestead, Burlington, Vermont 05408

10:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Probably the most widespread and often the most important agricultural ritual in indigenous North America is the Green Corn Ceremony, commemorating that moment when the corn harvest is assured. Join the Alnôbaiwi Abenakis as they celebrate the first corn harvest. The 1850's Abenaki camp wigwam, shade lean-to and cooking fireplaces will be set up on the Vermont Indigenous Center ceremonial grounds at the Ethan Allen Homestead. There Alnôbaiwis will process and cook the Abenaki harvest, including a "bean-hole" earth oven, baking, broiling and stewing corn, bean and squash dishes. In addition, Singing, Drumming and ceremonies such as the Blessings and Green Corn Dances will practiced. There will also be a short lecture at 1:00PM on the history and culture of the Abenaki Green corn Ceremony. The Allen House will also feature fiber arts as our new crop of flax is made into linen.

Included with the Price of Admission


September 15th     Points of Interest: Lake Champlain Bridge Guided Walk

Chimney Point State Historic Site, 7305 VT Route 125, Addison, Vermont 05491

Learn the history of what surrounds you as you walk across the Lake Champlain Bridge. Chimney Point site administrator Elsa Gilbertson and Crown Point, NY, site friends group president Thomas Hughes lead this guided round trip walk. Meet at Chimney Point. Rain or shine, dress for the weather. Bring a picnic to enjoy before.

Cost: $8 per person, includes admission to both museums.


September 15th     The Siege of the Moses Pierson Blockhouse

Ethan Allen Homestead Museum, 1 Ethan Allen Homestead, Burlington, Vermont 05408

2:00 – 4:00 PM

In 1778, a skirmish took place between a small force of Colonists and a British raiding party in Shelburne, VT. Known as the Battle of Pierson's blockhouse, the battle caused the death of Barnabus Barnum, one of the original Green Mountain Boys. Join us as Brennan Gauthier shares more about this small engagement and some of the archaeological discoveries found there.


September 19th     Third Thursday: New Discoveries & Insights into Vermont Archaeology

Vermont Historical Society Museum, 109 State St, Montpelier, Vermont 05602

12:00 – 1:00 PM

In conjunction with Archaeology Month, Vermont State Archaeologist Jess Robinson will provide a review of the most current research being done at archaeological sites statewide.

Third Thursday lectures are Free and open to everyone.


September 20th     Atlatl Workshop

Chimney Point State Historic Site, 7305 VT Route 125, Addison, Vermont 05491

12:00 – 5:00 PM

Atlatl experts Bob and Cheryll Berg of Thunderbird Atlatl teach traditional and modern techniques of atlatl and dart construction, flint knapping, hafting stone points, and cordage making. Enjoy atlatl lore and coaching on the use of your new atlatl. Pre-registration required. Fee includes instruction and materials.

Cost: $70 per person


September 21st     24th Annual Northeastern Open Atlatl Championship

Chimney Point State Historic Site, 7305 VT Route 125, Addison, Vermont 05491

10:30 AM – 4:30 PM

Participate in or watch this annual atlatl championship testing skills in accuracy and distance. The sport of using the atlatl to throw darts is based on the ancient hunting technique. Newcomers to experts welcome. Children’s activities. Workshops and demonstrations on crafts and skills from ancient to early Contact period times. Try your hand at stone tool-making (flint-knapping) and Woodland pottery. Learn how the colonists made fire. Call (802) 759-2412 to register.

Cost: Competitors: $7 Pre-Registered, $8 Same-Day Registration * Visitors: $5 Adult, Free Under 15.


September 22nd     Birchbark Basketmaking with Barry

Chimney Point State Historic Site, 7305 VT Route 125, Addison, Vermont 05491

10:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Make your own birchbark basket with expert guidance from Barry Keegan. The bark is folded with the help of hot water and sewn together with pine roots and/or basswood bark strips, to make a basket about 10 inches by 10 inches. Pre-registration and payment required, call (802) 759-2412.

Cost: $60 per person


September 22nd     Hubbardton Battlefield Hike

Hubbardton Battlefield State Historic Site, 5696 Monument Hill Road, Hubbardton, Vermont

1:30 PM – 4:30 PM

Trek around the battlefield with site interpreter and long-time reenactor Bob Franzoni. See locations of main points of the battle, learn about military tactics and key personalities of the battle, and look at a replica soldier’s kit. Wear sturdy shoes, dress for the weather. Free for those under 15 or with Green Mountain Passport.

Included in the regular $3 per person admission fee.


September 26th     The Big Thaw: the Effects of a Warming Climate on the Past, Present, and Future of Arctic Peoples

University of Vermont, Layfayette 108, Burlington, Vermont, 05405

5:00 – 6:00 PM

Detailed summary to follow.


September 28th    Archaeology Day at the Montshire Museum!

Montshire Museum of Science, 1 Montshire Rd, Norwich, Vermont 05055

How did Vermonters live in the past? What tools did they make and how did they make them? What has happened in the Upper Connecticut Valley during the last 12,900 years, and, most importantly, how do we know? Find out for yourself at Archaeology Day—a day-long celebration of us—the humans! Examine real artifacts in our Science Discovery Lab, watch stone tool and pottery making demonstrations, be your own history detective at our site clues simulation, get your hands messy at the pottery workshop, throw an atlatl, and talk to local archaeologists!

Free with Museum Admission.


September 29th     Portraits of Independence: The Faces of Mount Independence

Mount Independence State Historic Site, Orwell, VT

1:00 – 3:00 PM

This illustrated symposium examines the story of Mount Independence through the portraits of the limited number of people who were here and whose likenesses were taken. Site administrator Elsa Gilbertson presents the cast of characters and their portraits, removed from today’s audience by only one degree of separation (through the hand of the artists). A panel of respondents, Michael Barbieri, Ennis Duling, and Stephen Zeoli, moderated by site interpreter Paul Andriscin, will provide insights about these people, such as what was happening when they were at Mount Independence, their Contributions, interactions, and if they survived, what they did after the war. Audience participation and discussion welcome. Light refreshments.


Contact Us

Jess Robinson, State Archaeologist

One National Life Drive
Deane C. Davis Building, 6th Floor
Montpelier, VT 05620-0501

Vermont Archaeology Center

60 Washington Street
Barre, VT 05641

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