DCR archaeologist describes the first people of Fall River to seniors

Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation Archaeologist Ellen Berkland introduced about forty seniors at the Second Half Lifelong Learning Center in Fall River to the first people who entered this region over 12,000 year ago at a presentation she gave on November 5, 2019. Click here for an 82-minute video of her talk.


Ellen has been a practicing archaeologist for over 30 years, including work for the City of Boston and the Big Dig archaeological campaigns. She currently administers tow federal grants documenting and protecting critical island resources on three DCR managed islands. In the photo above right, she points to an animated gif of the fish weirs that were found 35 feet under Boylston Street in Boston during a subway tunneling project.

Her presentation began with a description of how the glaciers shaped New England and included a display of various tools used by indigenous people thousands of years ago.

Ellen poses for photos with senior Jack Gibney and Second Half Executive Director Roberta Melton as well as with Alex Houtzager who has lived near Dighton Rock all his life. The Rock is thought to contain markings by indigenous people, though many other interpretations have been promoted.

Click here for an 82-minute video of Ms. Berkland’s talk.