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Northeast Historical Archaeology

Abstract

Recent excavations at Fort Pentagoet and Saint-Castin's Habitation have shown physical evidence of three separate 17th-century Acadian occupations near the mouth of the Penobscot River in mid-coastal Maine. From 1635 to 1654, Fort Pentagoet defended private commercial interests of Charles d'Aulnay against English enemies and French rivals. From 1670 until its destruction by the Dutch in 1674, the fort served as military headquarters for the administration of all Acadia under governors Grandfontaine and Chambly. During the last quarter of the century, French authority was reestablished with a nearby Indian village at the habitation of Jean Vincent de Saint-Castin. The archaeological record for these French occupations shows three distinct strategies for defense, maintenance, supply, foodways, and interaction with the aboriginal population. Entrepreneur, soldier, or frontiersman, the leader in each case established a settlement unlike any of its New England counterparts.

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