Archaeologists Scour Woodstock Concert Field To Find Location Of Main Stage

June 21, 2018 - 2:18 pm

BETHEL, N.Y. (WCBS 880/AP) -- Archaeologists scouring a grassy hillside weren’t looking for dinosaurs, but instead trying to map out the site of the original 1969 Woodstock Music Festival.

The five-day excavation lead by Binghamton University's Public Archaeology Facility aimed to find the fencing that surrounded the historic festival in order to accurately pinpoint the location of the main stage where acts like The Who, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Janis Joplin and Joe Cocker once performed.

While Max Yasgur’s farm is already listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the ground on which the original stage stood is now buried under a layer of compacted fill. The hillside had been re-graded to accommodate temporary stages for anniversary performances in the 1990s. However, the significance of the concert lead the Bethel Woods Center for the Performing Arts to hire the archeaologists to get a better idea of festival's layout.

Project director Josh Anderson told WCBS 880's Steve Scott they were able to do this by locating a mold from one of the chain-link fence posts on the western side of the site.

The director noted that though the area has been “heavily altered,” his team has a much better picture of the land -- thanks to the post and leftover pull tabs from beer cans -- and can confidently use that information to pinpoint the center stage.

While the excavation didn’t uncover Jimi Hendrix’s old guitar picks, it did reveal more information about a place that lent its name to a generation and will hopefully assist in creating walking routes for the concert's 50th anniversary.

(© 2018 WCBS 880. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)