While most documentation describes the music at Woodstock, few accounts detail what audience members were doing away from the stage.

As per the contract with Max Yasgur, the farmer that lent his six-hundred acre plot of land to the festival’s organizers, the field had to be cleaned afterwards.

However, a group of professional and budding archaeologists took to the old venue in search of remnants like cans, salt shakers, and fire places to map where concertgoers gathered.

In collaboration with the curators at The Museum at Bethel Woods, students from Binghamton University’s archaeological field school have been turning things we would call trash into pages of a story from over fifty years ago.

Senior Curator at The Museum At Bethel Woods, Dr. Neal V. Hitch, says, “Part of this is a real connection to a real person that was on this site having a real experience, and we’re trying to put a lot of effort into collecting and connecting those authentic experiences before they’re gone, and part of that is through our oral history initiative and part of that is through a project like this.”

Angie Hammond, a student in Binghamton University’s Archaeological Field School, recognizes that Woodstock was unique because it was organized with the environment in mind.

A student in Binghamton University’s Archaeological Field School, Angie Hammond, says, “It brings it to life more; it’s not just people at a concert in a photo waving hands–it’s lively, it’s vivid. I think that’s really important to know, too, that these are real people here; this isn’t just garbage. They belonged to someone at some point, and it’s cool to find their stories and learn more about them.”

Just as the festival’s artists kickstarted their careers by performing at Woodstock, Dr. Hitch hopes that this dig will do the same for his archaeology students, taking them back in time while moving their passions forward.