Annual Meeting and Program “The Farmington Mastadon”

Events > Annual Meeting and Program “The Farmington Mastadon”

Friday, September 22, 7:30PM. Following our Annual Meeting reports Connecticut State Archaeologist Sarah Sportman will be presenting, “The Farmington Mastodon: Connecticut at the End of the Last Ice Age”.

Town Council Chambers
Audrey Beck Municipal Center
4 So. Eagleville Rd., Storrs Connecticut

In August of 1913, workmen digging a ditch on the Hill-Stead estate of A.A. Pope in Farmington uncovered the remains of a mastodon. It is the most complete mastodon ever found in Connecticut and it has recently been radiocarbon-dated (14,900–14,200 ca BP) as has another, less complete mastodon from New Britain (13,100-12,984 ca BP). While the stories of these mastodons are fascinating in their own right, the significance of the finds become even more apparent when considered in the light of recent archaeological finds, which push the date of documented human settlement in Connecticut back to at least 12,500 years ago. This talk focuses on what these old and new discoveries tell us about Connecticut’s history and environment at the end of the last Ice Age and examines the question of whether people and mastodons might have once shared the Connecticut landscape.

Unearthing the Hill-Stead Mastadon
Unearthing the Hill-Stead Mastadon. Photo credit –

Dr. Sportman holds a B.A. in history from Union College, an M.A. in historical archaeology from the University of Massachusetts, Boston, and a Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Connecticut. She has conducted archaeological research on several important historical sites in Connecticut, including Old Newgate Prison and the Prudence Crandall House. In addition to her work as a professional archaeologist, Dr. Sportman serves on the Board of the Archaeological Society of Connecticut and, as of 2019, is the editor of the Society’s annual publication, the Bulletin of the Archaeological Society of Connecticut. Dr. Sportman has held the position of Connecticut State Archeologist since February 2020.

Sarah Sportman
Sarah P. Spotrman, Ph.D., RPA

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