Artifacts of a battle between a Native American tribe and English settlers, a confrontation that helped shape early US history, have sat for years below manicured lawns and children’s swing sets in a Connecticut neighborhood. \nA project to map the battlefields of the Pequot War is bringing those musket balls, gunflints and arrowheads into the sunlight for the first time in centuries. It’s also giving researchers insight into the combatants and the land on which they fought, particularly the Mystic hilltop where at least 400 Pequot Indians died in a 1637 massacre by English settlers. \nHistorians say the attack was a turning point in English warfare with native tribes. It nearly wiped out the powerful Pequots and showed other tribes that the colonists wouldn’t hesitate to use methods that some consider genocide. \nThe battle site was farmland for years before being developed in the mid-20th century into a residential neighborhood of tidy homes. \nA “Tree of Peace” is planted at a hilltop traffic circle that marks the center of an old Pequot fort. \n“We never thought much about it when we moved here, though we’d get calls once in a while from researchers,” said Doris Oliver, who has lived on Pequot Avenue on the northern part of the battle zone with her husband since the 1940s. \nThis summer, teams of researchers are scouring the Olivers’ yard with metal detectors, notebooks, small shovels and other archeological tools. \nIn Mystic, the work is being done only where landowners agree to it. None of the land can be taken over by the government or the Pequots, or restricted in use. \nThe work, being done with grants from the National Park Service’s American Battlefield Protection Program, will also look at related Pequot War battle spots elsewhere in Connecticut, on Rhode’s Island’s Block Island and in Dover Plains, New York. \nThe Pequot War, waged from 1636 to 1638, broke out as tensions escalated between that powerful tribe and English settlers, who were bolstered by other tribes angry at the aggressive Pequots. \nAfter the Pequots’ fort was burned, those who escaped were slaughtered as they fled or caught and enslaved, either by the English or their tribal allies. \nToday, the Mashantucket Pequots — descendants of survivors given to the Mohegans as slaves — operate the Foxwoods Resort Casino. \nAnother group, the Eastern Pequots, descend from survivors enslaved by the Narragansetts and live in nearby North Stonington. \nMembers of both tribes are part of this summer’s battlefield mapping and archeology project, a joint venture between the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center at Foxwoods and the University of Connecticut. \n“A lot of people think the Pequot War was just the one massacre, this single site, but it’s so much more than that,” said Joseph Peters Jr, 24, a Mashantucket Pequot. “There’s so much culture sitting under the ground, under the earth, for so long just waiting to be discovered.” \nThe researchers have already found remnants of English metal uniform buttons, bandoliers and other items that might help mark where settlers marched, camped before the attack and retreated afterward. The artifacts are being cataloged at the museum and will be kept and displayed there. \n“I tell people all the time, history and archeology are right in your backyards, right under your feet, and this is a classic example of that,” Connecticut State Archeologist Nicholas Bellantoni said. \n“The Pequot War is a short time ago, actually, by an archeologist’s reckoning, so absolutely the potential is there to recover some very significant artifacts,” Bellatoni said.
Dutch scientists have found the coronavirus in a city’s wastewater before COVID-19 cases were reported, demonstrating a novel early warning system for the disease. SARS-CoV-2 — the virus that causes COVID-19 — is often excreted in an infected person’s stool. Although it is unlikely that sewage will become an important route of transmission, the pathogen’s increasing circulation in communities would increase the amount of it flowing into sewer systems, Gertjan Medema and colleagues at the KWR Water Research Institute in Nieuwegein said on Monday. They detected genetic material from the coronavirus at a wastewater treatment plant in Amersfoort on March 5, before
A coronavirus-free tropical island nestled in the northern Pacific might seem the perfect place to ride out a pandemic, but residents on Palau said that life right now is far from idyllic. The microstate of 18,000 people is among a dwindling number of places on Earth that still report zero cases of COVID-19 as figures mount daily elsewhere. The disparate group also includes Samoa, Turkmenistan, North Korea and bases on the frozen continent of Antarctica. A dot in the ocean hundreds of kilometers from its nearest neighbors, Palau is surrounded by the vast Pacific Ocean, which has acted as a buffer against the
TRUE TOLL? Some Chinese are skeptical about official data, particularly given the overwhelmed medical system and initial attempts to cover up the outbreak The long lines and stacks of urns greeting family members of the dead at funeral homes in Wuhan, China, are spurring questions about the true scale of casualties at the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak, renewing pressure on a Chinese government struggling to control its containment narrative. The families of those who succumbed to the coronavirus in the city, where the disease first emerged, were allowed to pick up their cremated ashes at eight funeral homes last week. As they did, photographs circulated on Chinese social media of thousands of urns being ferried in. Outside one funeral home, trucks shipped in about 2,500
‘LIKE A CASSANDRA’: Chinese residents of Prato went into self-imposed lockdown and warned their Italian neighbors about what was coming, but were ignored In the storm of infection and death sweeping Italy, one big community stands out to health officials as remarkably unscathed — the 50,000 ethnic Chinese who live in the town of Prato. Two months ago, the country’s Chinese residents were the target of what Amnesty International described as shameful discrimination, the butt of insults and violent attacks by people who feared that they would spread the coronavirus through Italy. However, in the Tuscan town of Prato, home to Italy’s single biggest Chinese community, the opposite has been true. Once scapegoats, they are now held up by authorities as a model for early,