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The Newport Tower

Coming soon:
? We?ll soon include a comprehensive report on our significant findings during the three seasons.
? We?re translating more of Gabriel Gravier?s Discovery of America by the Norse in the 10th Century, and his Voyages of Giovanni Da Verrazanno.
? We?ll publish Thormod Torfason?s History of Ancient Vinland from 1705.
? We'll complement our findings on the astronomy of the Newport Tower with Professor William S. Penhallow?s thorough treatment of Astronomical Alignments in the Newport Tower, published in 2006.

Recent Findings Suggest Pre-colonial Tower Origin

Click here to see our preliminary findings that link the tower to pre-colonial builders.

For the first time in nearly 60 years, in Fall 2006, an archaeological excavation took place in Touro Park, searching to answer the question: Who built the Newport Tower? The Norse, perhaps, with a connection to Greenland? The Scottish, with an eye to colonization? The Chinese, or the Portuguese, both needing rescue? Or perhaps even the Basque, known for their whale-spotting towers on the coasts of France and Spain?

We concluded our Fall 2006 excavation and are returing in October 2007 for a second season.

Our updated 2007 report The Newport Tower Project describing our rersearch and the results of our 2006 Touro Park archaeology. (945 KB PDF) References used for our report can be found here. (60 KB PDF)

See our daily log and photos from our Fall 2006 excavation here.

A detailed redrawn schematic of the features found on the inside Tower wall shown here based on the illustration in Means 1942 book .

A web exclusive: full color image of the c. 1770 painting The Old Stone Mill at Newport, Rhode Island attributed to Gilbert Stuart (1755-1828). The painting is oil on panel (h 15?, w 21 3/8-21?). Now at the Redwood Library and Athenaeum, Newport, Rhode Island, the painting was a gift of Julie Gilmour Bowen in honor of Lawrence Phelps Tower II and Helen Tower Wilson. THIS IMAGE MAY NOT BE REPRODUCED WITHOUT THE PERMISSION OF THE REDWOOD LIBRARY AND ATHENAEUM , NEWPORT, RHODE ISLAND. This image is a reduced resolution 92 KB protected PDF version of the original 51 MB TIFF file.

City of Newport, Rhode Island resolution authorizing archeological excavation in Touro Park.

Current and historic maps of Newport and Touro Park. (2.1MB PDF)

Detail map of Touro Park from Newport city engineering department.

Images from the 2003 ground penetrating radar (GPR) survey.
These images show an area 60 ft x 80 ft in Touro Park but not next to the Tower. Red shows areas of higher density and blue lower density. Only a few of the images are shown here. See the GPR links on our Resources page for detailed explanation of how GPR works.
? Layer 4 - depth 1.00 ft
? Layer 5 - depth 1.25 ft
? Layer 6 - depth 1.50 ft

Touro Park from Google satellite image

Our daily blog with photos from the field are found on our On Location page.

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