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William A. Ritchie, Robert E. Funk, and the Archaic Period in New York State Archaeology

Posted by Edward V. Curtin on March 12, 2013 in Archaeology |

Buffer  The Archaic period, 3,000-10,000 years before present (BP) saw human adaptation to temperate, eastern woodlands environments after the Ice Age, and no doubt also witnessed population growth, human migration, and interactions between different societies as the environment changed and innovations were made in technology and subsistence. Archaic societies were hunters-gatherers, although the ways they […]

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…and Back Again: A Viking Family Returns from Vinland

Posted by Edward V. Curtin on March 6, 2013 in Archaeology |

Buffer  While looking into the subject of Vikings in the New World, I came across a magazine article on an often untold part of the Vinland story, comprising an afterword about what happened next. The Vikings of the Vinland sagas are said to have stayed at most about three years and then returned home. Eleventh […]

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Looking Down the Ice-Free Corridor: Another Side of the First Americans Story

Posted by Edward V. Curtin on February 12, 2013 in Archaeology |

BufferThere are two sides to the story of the early peopling of North America, Stuart Fiedel has reminded me in a couple of recent emails.  Stuart’s detailed criticism of the data and interpretations of the Monte Verde site (Fiedel 1999) are sometimes cited as a significant component of the debate between the Clovis-First and Pre-Clovis […]

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Pursuing the Pre-Clovis Paradigm

Posted by Edward V. Curtin on February 7, 2013 in Archaeology |

BufferEver since the early 20th century, when important investigators such as William Henry Holmes and Aleš Hrdlička debunked claims of evidence of Ice Age human populations in the Americas, archaeologists and anthropologists have considered the matter very carefully (and with due skepticism). The Holmes and Hrdlicka-inspired hard-line eased in the 1920s and 30s with discoveries […]

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Before the Battle of Wilton: Native American Campsites near the Great Northern Trail

Posted by Edward V. Curtin on October 22, 2012 in Archaeology |

Buffer(This is the fourth in a series on history and archaeology in upstate New York communities) The investigation of 708 Route 9 Precontact Sites 1-4 was conducted before construction in order to recover important archaeological information. Not all of the sites were equally productive of new information, but Site 1 yielded data that offer a […]

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An Early Archaic Radiocarbon Date from Wilton, New York

Posted by Edward V. Curtin on September 5, 2012 in Archaeology |

Kindle(This is the second in a series of posts on the Archaic period in New York State) Last week the radiocarbon dating firm Beta-Analytic, Inc. provided a radiocarbon date for an archaeological feature excavated by Curtin Archaeological in the Town of Wilton, Saratoga County, New York. The date is 8760 +/- 40 years before present […]

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Relax with Some Summer Reading

Posted by Edward V. Curtin on July 23, 2012 in Archaeology, Book Reviews |

While conducting a Phase 1 archaeological survey on the hottest day of the year in the Town of Schodack, in New York’s Hudson Valley, my thoughts drifted occasionally away from the heat and insects to books I have enjoyed. Imagine you are there in the woods on a hot day in July. It’s humid and […]

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New York State Is Saying Yes to Heritage Tourism

Posted by Edward V. Curtin on July 2, 2012 in Archaeology, History |

Several Fieldnotes posts in one way or another have advocated heritage tourism. We have visited Montezuma Swamp and its ancient American Indian history, gone walking to imagine the prehistoric world, noted the rich potential for heritage tourism in Eastern New York (in resonance with John Roby’s wise words on the economy), and pointed out destinations […]

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The Bicentennial of the War of 1812

Posted by Edward V. Curtin on June 26, 2012 in Archaeology, History |

Kindle“In 1814 we took a little trip, ‘long with Colonel Jackson down the Mighty Mississipp’. Took a little bacon and we took a little beans, And we fought the bloody British in the Town of New Orleans.” -Jimmy Driftwood, “The Battle of New Orleans” This month marks the 200th anniversary of the beginning of the […]

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William L. Rathje, Who Broadened the Subject of Archaeology

Posted by Edward V. Curtin on June 15, 2012 in Archaeology |

Kindle“William Rathje and colleagues have brilliantly demonstrated the applicability of archaeology to quite contemporary phenomena…”  –Thomas F. King (2002:166). “William L. Rathje…has given some valuable and unexpected insights into the pattern of consumption of the modern urban population – and the methods employed are purely archaeological.”  -Colin Renfrew and Paul Bahn (1991:11). “All archaeologists study […]

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