Dig helps reveal history at Benjamin Thompson House in Setauket

History was unearthed today at Benjamin Thompson House by Anthropologist Brad Phillipe. A four-week dig at the Benjamin Thompson House in Setauket has unearthed some

A four-week dig at the Benjamin Thompson House in Setauket has unearthed some unique pieces of history.

A four-week dig at the Benjamin Thompson House in Setauket has unearthed some unique pieces of history. (7/11/13)

SETAUKET - A four-week dig at the Benjamin Thompson House in Setauket has unearthed some unique pieces of history.

The dig, conducted by anthropologist Brad Phillipe, uncovered common objects that may shed light on a very old story.

“Things we came up with are things used in everyday life,” says Phillippe. “Shells, clam or oyster, debris, brick nails, a lot of ceramics.”

Ward Melville Heritage Organization Director Gloria Rocchio says the house and 1,000 acres of land were owned by Benjamin Thompson, the town doctor who owned many slaves.

Rocchio says once the slaves were emancipated it is believed they stayed on as wage workers and lived in the kitchen extension. Rocchio also says the house may have been a stop on the Underground Railroad.

Phillipe says now that the dig is over, the real work begins. His team uncovered 8,000 artifacts that need to be washed, analyzed and grouped. For now Thompson’s story will go untold until Phillipe and his team can put together a narrative of the artifacts.

For more on Benjamin Thompson House, click 12 Extra on Ch. 612 or click the video on the left.

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