Fish effigy found in archaeological
excavations at N’tolonapemk. This
artifact will be one of many pieces
in the exhibit at the Abbe.
The Abbe Museum will open N’tolonapemk: Our Relative’s Place on November 2, 2012 in the Abbe’s Community Gallery. The exhibit will feature one of Maine’s oldest archaeological sites - which is located on Meddybemps Lake in Northeastern Washington County – known by the Passamaquoddy as N’tolonapemk, “Our Relatives’ Place.”
N’tolonapemk tells the story of this remarkable place through archaeological evidence and through the stories and knowledge of the Passamaquoddy people. Archaeological digs on this site have unearthed components dating back to the early Archaic Period (8,600 – 8,200 years ago) and there is evidence of continuing use of the site through the Late Ceramic Period (500 years ago). The scientific methods used by archaeologists, presented alongside the Passamaquoddy stories, work together to create a more complete picture and a richer understanding of this important place. The exhibit will focus on the environment of N’tolonapemk, the way in which Passamaquoddy life at the site revolved around the seasons, the geology of the location and the multiple ways of knowing about the past at this particular site, from archaeology to oral tradition to geology.
“The N’tolonapemk site presents us with a unique opportunity to look at the past from several perspectives. The involvement of the Passamaquoddy community throughout the project has brought out a more complete picture of the past that wouldn't be possible with archaeology alone,” says Abbe Museum curator Julia Clark.
The exhibit will open in the Abbe’s Community Gallery on Friday, November 2, with a reception from 4-6pm, including a blessing of the exhibit and refreshments. If you are interested in attending this opening and reception, please contact the Abbe Museum at 288-3519. The exhibit will be on display until October 2013, and is made possible thanks to support from Machias Savings Bank, the Maine Humanities Council and the EASTER Foundation/Anne & Fred Osborn III.