Monday, February 27, 2006

Fort Golgotha, NY

One time following up a "con job" excavation I was told happened when some NYC "archaeologists" where allowed to dig a trench in the Huntington graveyard, atop a hill, where the British Army had "Fort Golgotha" in the cemetery in the American Revolution, some reported them baking bread on tombstones, and where Nathan Hale was taken before his hanging in NYC (there is a statue in City Hall Park, recently moved to the front of the City Hall where it had been at the back or north side of the park) I helped in a "gifted and talented" program of excavation on a Saturday for elementary school kids, excavating a few test squares between the stones. The remains of the fort had been plowed level after the Revolutionary War. One of the Town of Huntington's offices was in the small building there, and the Suffolk County Historian was also on the school board. Anyway, we were helped by a re-enactor who lived practically next door, a podiatrist who played the head of the "Queens Rangers" once headed by Benjamin Thompson who later was well-known as the physicist Count Rumford. We thought perhaps we relocated some of the outline of the entrance way near the current flagpole, with Edward Johanneman, MA and Gaynell Stone, PhD. (showing gravestone rubbings) and tried to recover the area that had been previously disturbed by the previous "archaeologists" that sort of started this, perhaps. Down slope near the disturbed topsoils were stones obviously not from the glacial deposits of Long Island and near them a metal cartouche (silver like a large "pin") of the "Queens Rangers" was found, which I caught hell for letting the re-enactor borrow for a day to have one of his associates make a drawing of for further re-enactments occurring in bicentennial activities around Long Island. One French observer reported (not much about it) that in a windstorm the snow rolled up like carpets up the hill to "Fort Golgotha" named after the "hill of skulls" related in the Christian bible as where crucifictions occurred, where the biblical Jesus Christ was crucified between two thiefs by the occupying Roman government. I did get the "Queens Rangers" cartouche back from the rather large podiatrist, who dressed in a large "beefeaters" hat (traditionally bearskin I read) was quite imposing on a horse.

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