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12,000-year-old settlement found in New Hampshire

A 12,000-year-old settlement has been found in Keene, New Hampshire.

Goodby is leading a team of archeologists excavating four areas on the site of the new Middle School. The site in only one of two this old known in Cheshire County — the other was discovered in the late 1970s in Swanzey — and only one of 15 of this age in the state.

The exact location of the dig is being kept secret to prevent looters from desecrating the sites and to preserve the team’s own painstaking work which has continued seven days a week for months.

Goodby was first hired by the Keene School District to examine the historic significance of the site as part of the permitting process to build near a wetland.

And it was good they did, since the team has discovered bits of history dating between 12,000 and 13,000 years old.

“Not very much at all is known about these people,” Goodby said. “What is very special about this site is that this is one of the very early sites. These were some of the first people to come into this area and the end of the ice age.”

Through digging deep soil test cores all across the flat and wet land area at the site, a geologist was able to get an historical picture of what the area looked like when the first people arrived in what was not yet Keene.

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