Update on Skeletal Remains Found in Ridgefield and Other News

Update on the skeletal remains found in Ridgefield late last year and announces the significance of the Historical Society’s recent grant award from the National Park Service: American Battlefield Protection program. (May 27, 2020)

RIDGEFIELD, CONN. — A discovery of skeletal remains beneath an 18th Century house near the site of a pivotal Revolutionary War battle here could be the first time in state history that soldiers from the Revolution have had their remains recovered from the field of battle.

On Monday, Dec. 2, 2019, the Connecticut Office of State Archaeology was notified by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner that human skeletal remains had been discovered under the foundation of the home in Ridgefield. The Connecticut state archaeologist bears statutory responsibility for investigating human remains determined by the Chief Medical Examiner to have been buried for more than 50 years.

State Archaeologist Emeritus Nick Bellantoni

Subsequent excavations by emeritus state archaeologist Nicholas Bellantoni with assistance from the Friends of the Office of State Archaeology, Inc. and University of Connecticut graduate students, have yielded two skeletons of robust adult men lying in an east-west orientation in ground that appears to be haphazardly dug. The burials are located in the area of the Revolutionary War Battle of Ridgefield (April 27, 1777) and may be associated with the battle. Excavations are ongoing with assistance from the Ridgefield Historical Society and the Ridgefield Police Department.

A press conference was held at the Ridgefield Historical Society, 4 Sunset Lane, Wednesday, December 18, 2019. Bellantoni, State Historian Walter Woodward, and members of the Ridgefield Historical Society were interviewed and answered questions from the press.

Photos from the site are available, but to preserve the integrity of the excavation, site visits cannot be permitted.

Nick Bellantoni

By Nick Bellantoni

Dr. Nicholas F. Bellantoni serves as the emeritus state archaeologist with the Connecticut State Museum of Natural History at the University of Connecticut. He received his doctorate in anthropology from UConn in 1987 and was shortly thereafter appointed state archaeologist. He also serves as an Adjunct Associate Research Professor in the Department of Anthropology at UConn, and is Interim-President of the Archaeological Society of Connecticut and a former president of the National Association of State Archeologists.