As a museum and archaeological research center, Plimoth Plantation provides experiential learning on the 17th-century Plymouth colony to visitors from across the nation and world. At the living history museum, visitors can see what it was like to live in a 17th-century English village built on the shores of an unfamiliar continent. They can explore the Mayflower II, visit the grist mill, encounter rare breeds of animals, and learn traditional crafts. At the Wampanoag homesite, visitors can learn more about the Native Americans who populated the region long before the pilgrims set foot in it from their descendents. As a major tourism outlet, Plimoth Plantation is also economically significant to its region. Recognizing both its role in national civic life and the local economy, the NEH has provided major funding for the institution since 1979. Its funding has made sure that Plimoth Plantation’s exhibitions are up-to-date and accurate, representing the past as fully as possible. From helping the museum build its visitor center, to providing support for educational programs, to ensuring that the plantation is handicap accessible, the NEH has helped Plimoth Plantation become a resource for all who visit it. And because the NEH supports Plimoth Plantation’s efforts to portray history accurately, it has also provided significant funding for an archaeological research partnership with the University of Massachusetts, Boston. In 2016, this partnership led to a significant find: the Plymouth Colony’s original settlement.
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