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Archaeology in Downtown Portsmouth

On June 11th, Dr Kathleen Wheeler, independent archaeological consultant, will give a talk, Archaeology in Downtown Portsmouth: Discovering the Colonel Joshua Wentworth Privy. The Piscataqua Decorative Arts Society is holding this lecture at the Stoodleys Tavern on Hancock Street across from the Tyco Center at Strawbery Banke Museum in Portsmouth, NH. The lecture starts at 5:30pm, preceded by refreshments at 5pm. The cost to the general public is $10.00, while members are free. In 2010, Independent Archaeological Consulting (IAC) conducted fieldwork and analysis for Phase II of the Portwalk project, a mixed-use development being built downtown on Hanover St. Using a combination of mechanical and hand excavation, IAC discovered four privies including one associated with the property of Col. Joshua Wentworth, a prominent eighteenth century merchant and patriot. In the process of excavating the privy, archaeologists recovered a dozen glass bottles, among them a green wine bottle with a glass blob seal marked JOSa WENTWORTH 1773. This presentation will review the archaeological findings and will speculate on whose hands touched this bottle. Note that the Joshua Wentworth house, built circa 1770, was saved from destruction in 1973 when it was moved from Hanover St., floated down the Piscataqua River and placed in its present location on Hancock St. Dr. Wheeler will be connecting the objects IAC found, to the objects in todays antique market place. Kathleen Wheeler has over twenty-five years of experience working in New England, specializing in Post-Contact period archaeology. She exceeds the Secretary of the Interiors Standards for Archaeologists and has completed all levels of archaeological investigation in New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont and Massachusetts. Ms. Wheeler holds a BA in Anthropology from the University of New Hampshire and an MA and PhD in Anthropology from the University of Arizona. The Piscataqua Decorative Arts Society is a non-profit organization with a mission to promote original historical research resulting in publication. The primary focus is on the greater Piscataqua region of New Hampshire, and Maine with connecting links to Massachusetts and beyond. For more information, check the website (