Archaeologists are sweating in the early summer heat digging through layers of earth and going back 234 years to learn more about one of the Kentucky's most historic places.
Nancy O'Malley, an archaeologist at the University of Kentucky, who is leading the project, says the goal is to uncover previously unknown details about the War of Independence in September 1778, when Native Americans and the French-Canadian military tried to invade Fort Boonesborough.
In the process of this research, scientists hope recover forgotten data long ago on own historic fortress.
For example, there are still pieces of tunnel that the invaders tried to dig under the fort during the siege? How big was the fort?¿How big the palisade cabins were, and where the walls really are?
“It has never been entirely clear where the walls were in the modern landscapeO'Malley said Wednesday. "We have two estimates of how big the fort's enclosure was. One says 125 by 250 feet, but we don't know exactly how that number was arrived at. One of the Boones says it was a third as long as it was wide and closed about an acre. If you do math, it's about 180 times 240”.
The research is being supported by a grant from the Program for the Protection of the American Battlefield, a United States Park Service charged with help preserve historic battle sites. Fort Boonesborough has these characteristics from the siege during the War of Independence.
Lumberjacks built the fort near the Kentucky River in the spring 1775, having carved a desert road from Cumberland Gap. The place was named after the man who led it: Daniel boone.
Life was hard on Fort Boonesborough. Particularly in September 1778, when some 450 Shawnees and French-Canadian troops allied with the British they surrounded the fort. At one point, they tried to tunnel into the enclosure by digging 180 feet from the river bank. Fortunately for the settlers, the tunnel Collapsed and the invaders surrendered and returned home in 10 days.
O'Malley's group led a riverside investigation last month, using a ground penetrating radar. While they saw a "anomaly”On the ground that suggests it was the end of the tunnel, O'Malley says it seems like two centuries of erosion could have erased the tracks.
On Wednesday, archaeologists were carefully excavating a small area near the site of the original fort, which is a quarter of a mile of the recreation of the fort in a state park. O'Malley identified the remains of a cabin fireplace in the area in 1987. Now, team members are digging into what they think is the inside of the cabin, hoping to find objects and determine the dimensions of the building.
“We know the booth was here. But whether it was on the west wall of the fort or inside it, we do not know.”Says O'Malley. "We'd love to get an idea of the dimensions because we really have no idea what the large cabins looked like.”. This information could help determine how big was he the strong one, he says.
Researchers are trying to determine the main characteristics of the siege of 1778 as well as the location of the encampment of the Native Americans during the battle. They think they generally know where the camp is but have not found concrete evidence.
“I still think the Indian camp was around here, but I can't say there is any kind of archaeological trace”Says O'Malley. However, archaeologists they are optimistic. “When the project is done, I think we will be able to say a few things about the siege and place it on the ground in a way that has not been done before.”Says O'Malley.
Graduated in Journalism and Audiovisual Communication, since I was little I have been attracted to the world of information and audiovisual production. Passion for informing and being informed of what is happening in every corner of the planet. Likewise, I am pleased to be part of the creation of an audiovisual product that will later entertain or inform people. My interests include cinema, photography, the environment and, above all, history. I consider it essential to know the origin of things to know where we come from and where we are going. Special interest in curiosities, mysteries and anecdotal events in our history.