The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, May 18, 2007


Archaeologist to speak May 20 at Heald House

"Educating children and knowing that I have made a difference in at least some of their perspectives on the past is the most rewarding aspect of my work," states Craig Chartier, archaeologist and founder of the Plymouth Archaeological Rediscovery Project (PARP). Chartier founded PARP in 2002 as a way to focus attention on the archaeology of southeastern Massachusetts, However, the name has gradually evolved into PARP4Kids, an educational outreach program offering services to libraries, schools and home school groups.

Chartier also founded Massachusetts Archaeological Professionals (MAP), a consulting and
Archaeologist Craig Chartier
education firm based in New Bedford, providing cultural resource management services for southeastern Massachusetts developers. Chartier states, "Unfortunately there are many sites that get destroyed because people don't care, are afraid that someone is going to stop them from developing or simply want to dig the site for their own personal and selfish reasons."

Chartier earned his bachelor of arts from University of Rhode Island in Anthropology and a master's degree from University of Massachusetts Boston in Historical Anthropology. He has worked as an archaeologist since he was 18. His father, a dentist and history buff, got him hooked on archaeology at an early age. "I used to steal the National Geographic Magazines out of his waiting room so I could read the archaeology articles," reports Chartier.

He has also worked as an interpreter at Plimoth Plantation and as a park ranger at Myles Standish State Forest. Originally from New Bedford, Chartier has lived in Plymouth, Wareham and also lived in Virginia for a year while working on the Jamestown dig. He currently resides in New Bedford with his wife, Charlene, five children, a greyhound named Bashful, three cats, five fish, two chinchillas, a frog and a guinea pig. His wife is due in June with their sixth child. His hobbies include collecting Star Wars and Indiana Jones memorabilia, reading, writing, rock climbing and fencing.

Chartier believes that in order to be a good archaeologist one must have intimate and hands-on knowledge of the cultures being studied. This prompted him to become a flintknapper or stoneknapper as it is also called. Flintknapping, which is the art of reducing a stone to a tool, has been practiced by humans for over one million years. In his upcoming talk, "The Art and Science of Stoneknapping" at the Historical Society on May 20, he will discuss flintknapping in great detail. The program is being held at Heald House, 698 Concord Street at 2 p.m. Admission is $5 for Society members and $8 for non-members.

2007 The Carlisle Mosquito