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Demers Legacy Collection

Alix Martin and Tad Baker

The Early Piscataqua Region, as Seen Through its Ceramic Artifacts.

Dr. Alix Martin, Archeologist, Strawbery Banke Museum, and Dr. Tad Baker, Professor of History, Salem State University.

Sport divers Ray and John Demers recovered thousands of historic artifacts from the waters off New Castle in the 1970s, one of the largest and most important assemblages in the northeast. The Demers Collection is now at New Castle Historical Society where Alix Martin and Tad Baker have been studying and cataloging its ceramics. In the process they are learning exciting details about life in the Piscataqua in the colonial era, as well as the region’s extensive trade connections throughout the Atlantic world. Many of the ceramics were made in the West Country of England, a region that many Piscataqua settlers hailed from, and continued to trade with throughout the seventeenth century. Other finds were made in more distant lands, including France, Spain, Portugal, Germany and Italy.

Dr. Alix Martin and Dr. Tad Baker both hold a Ph.D. from the College of William and Mary, and collectively have well over 50 years of experience excavating historical archaeology sites in northern New England.

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