The Landscape

The RM Site is located on Plimoth Patuxet Museums’ property, along the Eel River, in Chiltonville, Plymouth, Massachusetts.

Site Overview

The RM archaeological site, also known as C-1, is a mid- to late-17th century fortified dwelling house likely lived in by the Faunce family. It is called the RM Site because of a spoon found there with the letters “RM” etched onto the handle, possibly associated with Thomas Faunce’s cousin Remember Morton. Spatially and geographically, it is closely connected to the nearby Eel River Site. The majority of the RM collection is 17th- and 18th-century colonial artifacts, with a smaller, but sizeable, component of Indigenous creations, and some unique early contact-era trade goods. The site also contains many goods of a military nature, such as lead shot, gun parts, and gunflints, along with typical early colonial domestic goods, such as pipe stems and ceramics.

[Above photo captions:Photo 1: Site map of the RM Site from 1942 detailing the features of the house, such as the hearth, chimney, and cellar. (Archaeological Files, Series 1: C1 The R.M. Site). Photo 2: 1942 view of the Eel River Pond, overlooking the land where the Museums sits today. (Archaeological Files, Series 1: C1 The R.M. Site). Photo 3: One of Harry Hornblower’s excavation units on the RM Site in 1942. The depression in the center with exposed cobbles and rocks is likely corresponds to one of the hearths from the site map. (Archaeological Files, Series 1: C1 The R.M. Site).]

Excavation History

The site was first excavated in 1941 when Harry Hornblower talked his fellow members of the Harvard Excavators’ Club into joining him on his family property. The excavations of the site were interrupted by WWII but resumed in 1949, this time under the direction of Karl Fernstrom. After a gap of nearly 20 years, James Deetz and his students returned to dig still more of the site in 1968.

[Above photo captions:Photo 1: A Brass Point with concave sides and a T-shaped notch in the base, possibly cut from kettle scrap. The point originates from the RM Site. (Object ID: C1.1453). Photo 2: A Ram Figurine uncovered from the RM Site. The piece depicts a leaping ram with two prongs at the bottom. The specific use is unknown. (Object ID: C1.1040.9).]

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