One of the aims of the archaeological work at Paoli Battlefield is to understand and interpret the relationship between the battle and those who lived in the community. At the time of the battle, Wayne and his men camped on the property of Ezekiel Bowen, a farmer who was sympathetic to the Revolution. The Bowen house stood “to the right rear of the camp, on the slope of a notch in the hills” (McGuire, 2000: 74). Historical documents do not point to whether or not the house was utilized by any of Wayne’s officers. Therefore, much can be learned about the battle by understanding the lay out of the Bowen farm (the house and it’s outbuildings) and the material remains associated with this cultural landscape.
Over the last two weeks, our excavations are uncovering the landscape of the Bowen Farm. Below, images show the progression of our excavations and the discovery of a foundation. It is unclear at this point whether the foundation is associated with the house or another outbuilding. The exciting discovery shows the promise of archaeology to better interpret the Battle of Paoli!