NOrumbega Logo
Home Archaeology Documents Resources Artifacts
 The Humphrey & Lucy 
Chadbourne Archaeology Site

The Chadbourne Site (ca. 1643-1690) in South Berwick, Maine, is a well preserved site of an early English homestead and industrial complex. This project of the Old Berwick Historical Society and the Chadbourne Family Association is directed by Emerson W. Baker, Ph.D., Professor of History at Salem State College. The site was discovered in 1995 and excavations continued through 2007. Lab work continues, in preparation for an exhibit and publication.

chadbourne logo

 logo based on an excavated seal

See artifacts from the site
See site plans and photos
Read a site report
Chadbourne Dig Humor
Information about the Project

You may want to visit these web sites:
Old Berwick Historical Society
Chadbourne Family Association

1665 map detail

The dig has uncovered invaluable archaeological information about life for the first generation of English settlers in southern Maine. It has also been a successful education program. Every year between 60 and seventy volunteers participated in the dig. In addition, people continue to learn about the project through on-going lectures, and an exhibit at Old Berwick Historical Society's Counting House Museum.  
Built sometime after Humphrey Chadbourne Sr. purchased the land from the local Native Americans in 1643, and apparently destroyed in 1690 during King William's War,  the site is archaeological "time capsule."   It presents a complete and well-preserved record of life in Maine in the late 1600s. The fact that the Chadbournes were one of the wealthiest families in the colony means that they left many objects behind for archaeologists..
  To date over 30,000 artifacts have been    recovered. These broken bits of the past have no monetary value, but they are truly priceless to archaeologists for they tell us about everyday life in early Maine. Most are every-day sort of items such as hand-forged nails, window glass, bits of stew bones, or stems from clay pipe stems. Buttons, a spur, an ax blade, a hammer head, part of a saw blade, a chisel and other tools all reveal details of daily life for the Chadbournes.
"HL C" engraved spoon  for Humphrey and Lucy Chadbourne.
 back to top of page