Archeology Tour: Boston Common

A sculpture at Frog Pond
Ice Skating area at Frog Pond

Last fall, we had the opportunity to participate in a great archaeological tour at the Boston Common with the City of Boston’s Archaeologist, Joe Bagley.  October is Archaeology Month, and some wonderful person set up this tour so that we could dig deeper (pun intended) into the real history surrounding Boston. It was a beautiful time of year with all the leaves changing, and it was not so cold that it was unbearable.

On the North Side of the Common
City Archaeologist, Joe Bagley

One thing we learned is that the name “Boston Common” was named that because it was “common land.” In the early days of the settlement, farmers could graze their herds in the Boston Common.



It was also the location for public hangings, a meeting place for the “Sons of Liberty” and before all of that, a good place for Native Americans to set up their villages through the winter months.


The site used to be waterfront, and both fish and shellfish were plentiful. One of the ways archaeologists can tell the difference between artifacts from colonists versus artifacts from Native Americans was that the Native Americans ate clams (lots of them) whereas the colonists only ate oysters. 


So many great tidbits of information – this was a wonderful, free field trip for our family.