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What do Ceramics Tell us About Wayland’s Ancient Inhabitants?

The lecture entitled, “What do Ceramics Tell us About Wayland’s Ancient Inhabitants?” was presented by John Pretola, on October 21, during Massachusetts Archaeology Month.  The program was organized by the Historical Commission and co-sponsored with the Historical Society.  It was held in the Large Hearing Room of the Wayland Town Building and twenty-two people attended.  Minnette Harrington, assisted by Lois Toombs, provided refreshments.

John Pretola received his Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst with a specialty in analyzing Native American pottery using thin sectioning techniques.  He worked for 27 years as a museum curator and archaeologist at the Springfield (Massachusetts) Science Museum, retiring in 2002.    John then taught college classes for several years  and later was senior principal investigator with Gray & Pape, doing contract and pipeline archaeology.  His interests remain the study of Native American Ceramics and stone tools, especially the optical mineralogical analysis of ceramics and silicates in thin section, and geological archaeology in general.

Dr. Pretola’s analysis of our small collection of 61 Native American ceramic sherd attributes indicated that people used this Wayland site beginning in the late Early Woodland period from 700 BC to 0 AD through the Middle Woodland period, from 0 AD to 1000 AD.  However, no radiocarbon dates are associated with the ceramics to pinpoint the approximate time they were deposited. The site is unnamed to protect its location.


John Pretola

John Pretola

John Pretola hosts the evening.

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