Dig along upper Hudson opens window to old NY fort

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A mistake made along the Hudson River is offering archaeologists a rare glimpse into how colonial military engineers built wooden forts, including the key stronghold constructed here by the British during the French and Indian War.

A formal excavation of the original Fort Edward was called after crews dredging PCB-contaminated sediment from the Hudson River last month accidentally ripped out wooden beams thought to have been part of the original fort, which was built in the 1750s. Redcoats, rangers, American Indians and settlers mingled at the site as England and France fought for control of North America.

Archaeologists, after spending two weeks scraping away layers of soil from the river's steep east bank, have uncovered more evidence of the foundation of what was once Britain's largest fortification on this continent.

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