The Tobey Site on the Palmer River

Between 1986 and 1991, more than 700 artifacts were found on land not far from the Carpenter Museum in Rehoboth Village.

Using radiocarbon dating, researchers concluded that some of the tools found were used by people who lived here around 3,700 year ago. Other artifacts dated back to 4,700 years ago.


The Tobey site was an ideal campsite, on a hill overlooking the Palmer River. Small hunting parties stayed here at various times of the year using darts and spears to kill wild game. (Click on the photo above to enlarge.)


Women and children in the camp used the metate and mano to grind acorns, dried berries, and other wild food. They also gathered and roasted nuts.

A diorama of the site depicts the location that included a subterranean circular enclosure about 14 feet in diameter with a small entrance used as a shelter and later as a sweat house found and dated to 4,770 years ago.


The Carpenter Museum includes a number of colonial objects from the 17th century, including this pot that belonged to Pokanoket sachem Metacom and was reportedly used in his camp and wigwam. (Click on the photo for a larger version.)

Click here for the Robbins Museum web page. Some of the above items are on loan from the Robbins Museum.

Click here for the page on the Rehoboth Village and dam.

Click here for a page on the archaeology of the Swansea area nearby.

Click here for a description of the Tobey Site by Edwin C. Ballard.

Click here for the Carpenter Museum web page.

Click here for a video of the First Nation’s history of Massachusetts Paleo-to-Agro, 14,000-2,000 yrs. BP

The Carpenter Museum is located at 4 Locust Avenue in Rehoboth Village. Take Bay State Road south from Route 44 (Winthrop Street) and follow the signs to the museum.

Click on the map below for a Google satellite map of the Carpenter Museum location.