The Missing 2000 Years: The Continuing Mystery of the Earliest Archaic in the Hudson Valley

Posted by Kerry Nelson on September 12, 2011 in Archaeology, Artifacts |

Ed Curtin of Curtin Archaeological Consulting Inc. and the Van Epps-Hartley Chapter, NYSAA will be giving a talk Friday, September 16, 2011 at 7:30 at the Mulberry House Senior Center, 62-70 West Main Street, Middletown, New York.  The talk, entitled:  “The Missing 2000 Years: The Continuing Mystery of the Earliest Archaic in the Hudson Valley” is part of the monthly meeting of the Incorporated Orange County Chapter of the New York State Archaeological Association.


The great New York State Archaeologist Bob Funk referred to the period between the end of the Paleoindian era and the bifurcated base point horizon as “the missing 2000 years”– a period 8,000-10,000 radiocarbon years before present that archaeologists know too little about. This presentation provides a survey of information and thoughts on this earliest part of the Early Archaic, including Bob Funk’s intriguing original position based upon his 1960’s excavation at Sylvan Lake Rockshelter. His hypothesis that Early Archaic assemblages would look at least somewhat Laurentian is re-examined in light of more contemporary views concerning Late Paleoindian-Early Archaic horizons typified by unfluted lanceolate points, various kinds of Dalton points, and Kirk-Palmer corner-notched points. Due consideration is given to a possible early side-notched point horizon. Slides of Early Archaic artifacts from sites in Saratoga, Albany, and Greene Counties illustrate the talk.

Biographical Sketch:

Edward V. Curtin is the President of Curtin Archaeological Consulting, Inc., located in Ballston Spa, Saratoga County, New York.  He is an archaeologist with a Ph.D. in anthropology from the State University of New York at Binghamton.  He is best known for his interest in the Archaic period (1,000-8,000 B.C.) of the Northeastern United States, but he also is intensely interested in all things related to the archaeology of the Hudson valley.  His writing on these subjects includes “The Ancient Mohicans in Time, Space and Prehistory” (New York State Museum Bulletin 501, pp. 5-18), “Recent Investigation of Archaic Sites at Hemstreet Park on the Upper Hudson River” (New York State Archaeological Association Newsletter, Fall 2009, pp. 1-3) and the forthcoming “A Small Site in Coxsackie, Circa A. D. 1200:  Some Ecological Issues Concerning Its Age and Location” (submitted to New York State Museum Record).  He also contributes to Fieldnotes, Curtin Archaeological Consulting’s blog.

This program is free and open to the public.  Contact the IOCC for more information.

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