The Robert E. Funk Memorial Archaeology Foundation made presentations to the New York Archaeological Council (NYAC) and the New York State Archaeological Association (NYSAA) at their joint meeting in Johnstown, New York, April 15-17, 2011. Edward V. Curtin, Jonathan Lothrop, and Wayne Lenig, all members of the Funk Foundation’s Governing Council, attended the meetings (Wayne in fact was the lead organizer of the NYSAA conference, and all three presented research papers). As Governing Council members respectively appointed by NYAC and NYSAA, Ed Curtin and Wayne Lenig reported on the recent activities of the foundation as well as its financial health. Jon Lothrop coordinated financial reporting from the New York State Museum Institute, where the Funk Foundation’s account resides.
Curtin reported that last summer, Laurie Miroff completed a grant that assisted in analysis of Binghamton University’s investigation of the Castle Gardens site in Vestal, New York. Previously, Bob Funk had written about this important, stratified Late Archaic period site in Volume 2 of his upper Susquehanna valley monograph. The Binghamton researchers have significantly replicated and confirmed Bob Funk’s findings regarding chronology, but like Bob, they have been challenged to interpret the consistent co-occurrence of Vestal and Lamoka points in the site’s stratigraphy; especially because in other upper Susquehanna sites, these point types occur in separate strata, with Vestal points repeatedly following Lamoka in the stratigraphic sequence. The Funk Foundation grant to Laurie supported a microwear analysis of Lamoka and Vestal points that revealed important functional differences between the two point types, providing at least some support for the hypothesis that the two types were contemporaneous, but were used in different ways.
Curtin noted that Angela Labrador’s grant research on Middle Woodland period ceramics from the Hudson valley was published in North American Archaeologist (Vol. 29, 2008), while Katy Serpa’s grant-supported New York State phytolith research has been published in Current Northeast Paleoethnobotany II. Grantee David Ingleman’s research on prehistoric fishing and long-term changes in the eastern Lake Erie fishery is under peer review for publication.
In addition to these reports, at the NYSAA session on Historical Archaeology on April 17, grantee Scott Stull of Ithaca College incorporated the results of Funk Foundation-sponsored research in his presentation on the investigation of two 18th century fortified house sites in the Mohawk valley: Fort Klock and Fort Johnson. Fort Klock was the home of Indian trader Johannes Klock, while Fort Johnson was an early home and headquarters to the famed British colonial Indian agent Sir William Johnson. Scott’s grant supported the use of remote sensing- including ground penetrating radar- in his archaeological surveys of these properties.
Ed Curtin also reported on fundraising plans. Corporate contributions are welcome and will be pursued; in recognition of their gifts, corporate contributors will be identified along with links to their sites in the new version of the Funk Foundation’s website. The Funk Foundation is especially looking for Cultural Resource Management firms that wish to support archaeological research in New York in ways that would make key differences in the pursuit of useful, substantive knowledge. In the past, a combination of small donations from individuals and larger contributions from small organizations such as NYAC and NYSAA have provided much needed support for the Funk Foundation grant program.
You Can Help the Funk Foundation
Funk Foundation grants typically make small contributions to larger research projects, and currently are limited to a maximum of $2,000.00. It is truly rewarding to see the results of the research, and since archaeological funding is so often somewhat less than the researcher really needs, it brings great pleasure to know that a little grant assistance has made a difference in helping archaeologists to better understand the human history of New York State. To make a donation that will help support research in New York State archaeology, please make a check payable to the New York State Museum Institute, with a notation or cover letter that the donation is for the Funk Foundation. Please send your contribution to:
Robert E. Funk Memorial Archaeology Foundation
c/o The New York State Museum
3025 Cultural Education center
Albany, New York 12230