PLYMOUTH, Mass. — Archaeologists have pinpointed what they think is the exact spot where the Pilgrims lived in the years after landing in the New World.

Every American schoolchild knows the Pilgrims landed in Plymouth in 1620, but exactly where has been elusive.

Archaeologists from the University of Massachusetts Boston tell The Boston Globe they have discovered what is believed to be part of the original settlement, based on the discovery of a calf’s bones, musket balls, pottery, tins and trade beads, as well as brownish soil where a wooden post once stood.

UMass-Boston professor David Landon’s team found 17th-century pottery, tins, trade beads, and musket balls – around that post and ground construction.

Landon said the discovery of the calf’s remains was an indication of how the success of early colonies depended on herds of cattle.

Cattle “became a centerpiece of the economy. So the calf does connect us to that story,” Landon said.

He said the discoveries are compelling evidence that a sliver of the original settlement existed at what is known as Burial Hill.

The curator of collections at the Plimoth Plantation says the discovery will “absolutely change what we understand about that settlement.”


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