After 10,000 years of living in today’s New England Area, it’s not difficult to understand why Sowams was the ideal place for the 12,000 Pokaonket people who were known to be living there before the Europeans arrived. Jordan E. Kerber, writing in “Where are the Woodland Villages in the Narraganset Bay Region?” (Bulletin of the Massachusetts Archaeological Society, Vol. 49, No. 2, pp. 66-71) found repeated occupation of seasonal specialized processing camps focusing on estuarine resources during the Woodland Period in and around Tiverton, RI.
Food was abundant year round and shelter was readily available in wooded areas during the winter months. The richness of these resources along with the juxtaposition of terrestrial resources appear to have fostered a relatively early and sedentary maritime lifestyle (Bernstein, 1992).
More importantly, both saltwater and fresh water provided both food and transportation.