BY LANDY ERLICK
Dr. Eugene Boesch is an archaeology professor and anthropologist. He specializes in PaleoIndian history and has conducted several digs here at the Jay Heritage Center. Here are his thoughts on his experiences, discoveries, and craftsmanship in Rye, across the country, and around the globe.
How were you drawn to this field?
I was always drawn to history, and the people of the past. All of it was of interest, thinking how things happened. On the larger or traditional historic level but also on the small scale, individual family or community level. Picking up artifacts that may not have been touched for hundreds or thousands of years is fun. There were some historic foundations near my house growing up that I played around which was fun. No a day goes by for the last 40 years, that I have not thought about something related to the past. It’s a great escape.
Lithograph Map of Rye, David Rumsey Collection
Is [Rye] a prime area to find artifacts?
Yes, there are still many sites in the area, mostly historic sites. [There are] Native American sites too but those are more rare. However, more and more sites are gone each year due mainly to development. Usually, people would not realize what is a site in this area. Our historic time depth is so short and finding and recognizing Native American sites so difficult. People tend to think of archaeological sites as either the pyramids or dinosaur bones – sometimes I also get the question if I find gold and other treasures when I excavate. It says more about their hopes and likes than what the reality usually is.