Photo by Michael Browning

More than 12,000 years ago, small groups of Paleoindians endured frigid winters on the edge of a small river in what would become Keene, New Hampshire…

On Wednesday, September 15, at 7PM, live via Zoom, join Cook Memorial Library, Tamworth History Center, and Chocorua Lake Conservancy for “12,000 Years Ago in the Granite State,” a New Hampshire Humanities program with Robert Goodby, professor of Anthropology at Franklin Pierce College. Please register at

In 2009, an archeological survey for the new Keene Middle School discovered the remains of these Paleoindians’ stay by that river, and brought to light one of the oldest Native American sites in New England. The remarkably intact site produced evidence of four separate dwellings containing over 200 stone tools and fragments of burned animal bones. These early people, rather than being isolated stone-age nomads, were part of a social network that extended across much of northeastern North America. The discovery and excavation of the site was required by the National Historic Preservation Act, a frequently maligned piece of legislation that in this instance worked to save an irreplaceable piece of the human story in the Monadnock region.

Presenter: Robert Goodby is a professor of Anthropology at Franklin Pierce University in Rindge. He holds a Ph.D. in anthropology from Brown University and has spent the last thirty years studying Native American archeological sites in New England. He is past president of the New Hampshire Archeological Society, a former Trustee of the Mount Kearsarge Indian Museum in Warner, and served on the New Hampshire Commission on Native American Affairs. In 2010, he directed the excavations of four 12,000-year-old Paleoindian dwelling sites at the Tenant Swamp site in Keene.

This program is funded by a grant from New Hampshire Humanities, a nonprofit organization that nurtures the joy of learning and inspires community engagement by bringing life-enhancing ideas from the humanities to the people of New Hampshire. They connect people with ideas. Learn more at

This program is also part of “Wabanaki History, Ecology & Experiences,” a series of programs exploring Indigenous history and experiences in what is now called northern New England, a collaboration between the Cook Memorial Library in Tamworth and the Chocorua Lake Conservancy, made possible through a generous grant from The Tamworth Foundation.

12,000 Years Ago in the Granite State, on Zoom 9/15
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