Archeologists are now digging up the Woodstock Festival site
Image: AP Photo / Richard Drew
Nobody wants to be thought of as a relic, so it must feel weird when memories from your childhood turn into an archeology site. This past week, archeologists have been combing, surveying and shoveling the rolling green hills of Bethel, New York, to research the site of Woodstock Music Festival. Before you start thinking Indiana Jones and the Hendrix Guitar Pick, the dig is being conducted by the Binghamton University’s Public Archaeology Facility as research for Woodstock's upcoming 50th anniversary.
In 1969, 400,000 fans stomped the grass and mud of Max Yasgur's dairy farm to watch iconic performances by the Who, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Creedence Clearwater Revival and more now-classic rock acts. Today, the site is on the National Register of Historic Places, though some specifics are a little fuzzy half a century later.
Archeologists look to map out the specific locations of stages and fences. For example, the team believes they have found the exact spot where a chain-link fence from the side of the stage area met the “Peace Fence” that sat in front of the stage.
"We can use this as a reference point," project director Josh Anderson told AP News. "People can stand [there] and look up at the hill and say, 'Oh, this is where the performers were. Jimi Hendrix stood here and played his guitar at 8:30 in the morning.'"
The results of the dig are being used to plan an interactive walking tour guided by the Museum at Bethel Woods.
Turning up the earth has also revealed some not-so-precious artifacts like aluminum pull tabs from cans and shards of glass bottles.
Take a look at some photos from the dig.