Pequot Museum Unveils Largest Collection of 17th Century Battlefield Artifacts on Display in New England

English woodcut of the Battle of Mistick Fort (“Mistick Massacre”), 1638.

English woodcut of the Battle of Mistick Fort (“Mistick Massacre”), 1638.

New Pequot War Exhibit Showcases more than 50 Recently-Recovered Objects from Mistick Fort Battlefield

Published September 30, 2016

MASHANTUCKET, CONNECTICUT – The Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center announced today it will unveil the largest collection of 17thCentury battlefield artifacts on display in New England in its new Pequot War Exhibit, opening on Oct. 1 in the museum’s Pequot War Gallery. Showcasing more than 50 recently-recovered objects from the Battle of Mistick Fort (May 26, 1637), the exhibit is the culmination of an innovative, seven-year battlefield archaeology and preservation project led by the museum, and was also made possible through extensive public, private and tribal support.

Visitors are introduced to the exhibit through a Pequot narrative of the events surrounding the battle, one of the most controversial and significant events in the Colonial and Native history of America. On display are never-before-seen military and personal items carried by Native warriors and Colonial soldiers on the day of battle. Visitors will explore artifacts including Native amulets, knives, ornaments, hair pieces, and jewelry, as well as European hand-hammered gun parts and musical instruments recovered from the battlefield. A large sample of lead musket balls as well as brass arrow points fired during battle – and bent upon impact with armor – are also on display.

“Our exhibit reveals exciting and significant new insights into the military tactics, arms and equipment employed by Native and English forces alike,” said Jason Mancini, director of the Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center. “It also showcases the science, technology and methods used in surveying the Mistick Fort Battlefield, which are among the most advanced in the field. The exhibit is bound to captivate visitors, whether they’re interested in archaeology or military, tribal, or early American history.”

Part of the museum’s Battlefields of the Pequot War project, Mistick Fort Battlefield is the earliest surveyed battlefield in New England. With grants from theNational Park Service’s American Battlefield Protection Program, and by partnering with the Office of the Connecticut State Archaeologist, the Connecticut State Historian, and local historical societies and museums, the Pequot Museum continues its archaeological survey to better understand all aspects of the Pequot War.

The new Pequot War Exhibit will serve as a foundation for future expansions in the Pequot War Gallery. More information on the Battlefields of the Pequot War project can be found at http://pequotwar.org/.

The world’s largest Native American museum, The Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center serves as a major resource on the histories and cultures of Native Americans in the northeast and on the region’s rich natural history.

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