Archaeologists uncover first shots of the French and Indian War

A team of archaeologists have uncovered the first shots of the French and Indian War during excavations at Jumonville Glen, part of Fort Necessity National Battlefield in Fayette County, Pennsylvania, United States.

The French and Indian War (from 1754 to 1763) was part of the broader conflict known as the Seven Years’ War. This particular theatre was fought between the British Empire’s North American colonies against the French, with both factions receiving assistance from various Native American tribes.

The British colonists were supported at various times by the Iroquois, Catawba, and Cherokee tribes, and the French colonists were supported by the Wabanaki Confederacy member tribes which included the Abenaki and Mi’kmaq, and the Algonquin, Lenape, Ojibwa, Ottawa, Shawnee, and Wyandot (Huron) tribes.

The conflict started over a disagreement regarding authority over the confluence of the Allegheny River and Monongahela River, known as the Forks of the Ohio.

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The dispute erupted into violence at the Battle of Jumonville Glen in May 1754 near present-day Hopwood and Uniontown in Fayette County, Pennsylvania. Virginia provincial troops under the British flag, commanded by 22-year-old Lieutenant Colonel George Washington, led an attack supported by allied tribes against a French campsite, resulting in the death of 13 Frenchmen and 21 captured.

A joint archaeological project involving the American Veterans Archaeological Recovery (AVAR), the National Park Service Northeast Archaeological Resources Program, the National Park Service Northeast Museum Services Centre, Paul Martin Archaeology Associates, and the Advance Metal Detection for the Archaeologist (AMDA), have uncovered 18th century ballistics and other artefacts from the skirmish at Jumonville Glen, providing evidence of the first shots fired that ignited the French and Indian War.

“The archeology project was the first serious investigation of the historic skirmish site,” said Fort Necessity Superintendent Stephen M. Clark. “Through the help of this partnership project, the National Park Service can now provide a deeper understanding of where the French and Indian War started.”

National Park Service

Header Image Credit : NPS

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Mark Milligan
Mark Milligan
Mark Milligan is multi-award-winning journalist and the Managing Editor at HeritageDaily. His background is in archaeology and computer science, having written over 7,500 articles across several online publications. Mark is a member of the Association of British Science Writers (ABSW), the World Federation of Science Journalists, and in 2023 was the recipient of the British Citizen Award for Education, the BCA Medal of Honour, and the UK Prime Minister's Points of Light Award.

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