In 2019, archeologists began to unearth a wealth of artifacts 14 miles northwest of Hartford in Avon, Connecticut. The 15,000 artifacts were proof that the Paleo Indians were the first settlers in Connecticut more than 10,000 years ago.
According to diggingintothepast.org, the Paleo-Indian Templeton site, located on a terrace of the Shepaug River in Washington, Connecticut, is the oldest site at 11,190-years-old.
10,490 years ago, the Templeton site in Washington, CT looked vastly different than it does today. Early settlers to this area would have shared the landscape with megafaunas such as dire wolves, mastodon, mammoth, giant beaver, and other extinct species. Unfortunately, no Paleo-Indian artifacts in Connecticut have been associated with the remains of such animals.
Noted archeologist David Leslie from Archaeological and Historical Services (AHS) supervised the dig. After three months during the winter of 2019, his team had unearthed 15,000 artifacts, a fire pit, and postholes. Most of the artifacts are stone tools or debris from creating the tools.
I’ve always been fascinated by the history of the early native Americans. The Paleo-Indians benefitted from the resources along rivers and streams like the Templeton site in Washington, CT, on the Shepaug River. They used a wide range of stone tools while hunting, gathering, fishing, woodworking, and ceremonial observances.