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Poquahoc Ruhtuk

Clam Fire

Table of Contents
Introduction
History
Artifacts
Translation

Introduction

Poquahoc Ruhtuk is a place that was used┬áprehistorically as a summer and fall “clambake” site. Food remains, shell heaps, fire pits, and ceramics were found in the area, showing evidence of indigenous occupation.

History

Though currently undeveloped, oral and documentary sources have indicated that Native American and / or African populations may have lived there at one time.

One isolated post-contact pit feature is interpreted as being afield or garden. Late 19th century documents relating to observations of this peninsula may identify the site as a “Negro Garden.” Further evidence in 2005 revealed the possibility of a plow being used. 1

  1. Katherine Howelett Hayes, The Historical Archaeology of Sylvester Manor pp 40.

Artifacts

Researchers have recovered indigenous ceramics in this area, connecting to later historic Native ceramic found near Sylvester Manor and the past Sebonac and Late Windsor tradition.

Additional material culture range from pre-contact lithics and ceramics through early 19th-century ceramics.

Translation

Poquahoc Ruhtuk translates to “clam fire,” based on a recorded vocabulary of ‘Unquachog / Puspatuck[sic]’ collected by Thomas Jefferson at Brookhaven, Long Island on June 13, 1791.1

Although this site has been used for a long period of time as a clam baking and fish smoking site, it did not have a historical name.

  1. Gaynell Stone, Languages and Lore of the Long Island Indians pp.17

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