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Reconstructing Frontenac Island’s History

Posted by Edward V. Curtin on September 24, 2014 in Archaeology |

Buffer  Because history gives meaning to places, I have looked closely at reconstructing the history of Frontenac Island.  This appears to be a very long and eventful history.  Recognition of a long history stretches out the perspective of Frontenac Island in the sense that historic processes such as forming communities and mediating diverse traditions may […]

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Frontenac, Island of History

Posted by Edward V. Curtin on September 19, 2014 in Archaeology |

Buffer  If history is the process of human life experienced, symbolized, and remembered, then Frontenac Island must be one of the oldest and most significant historic places in New York State.  Frontenac Island, in Cayuga Lake at Union Springs, New York is the last of the four great Archaic period sites excavated by William A. […]

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Glimpses of Archaic Societies

Posted by Edward V. Curtin on September 9, 2014 in Archaeology |

Buffer  Many of the sites that archaeologists discover in New York State are referred to as Archaic sites:  sites occupied during the Archaic period from about 3,000-10,000 radiocarbon years ago (or, calibrated, approximately 3,300 to 11,500 calendar years ago).  Many of these sites are small and have relatively few artifacts, especially compared to Late Woodland […]

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The Enigmatic Archaic Site at Lamoka Lake, New York

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

Buffer  Arthur Parker had long suspected that New York State’s prehistoric past featured a very ancient era before the invention of pottery and agriculture. By the early 1920s, he referred to this poorly-documented period as the Archaic Algonkian (Parker 1922). He also recognized another early culture that he called Eskimo-like due to the presence in […]

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The Archaic Period Archaeological Sites at Brewerton, New York

Posted by Edward V. Curtin on May 30, 2013 in Archaeology |

Buffer  Exploring archaeological sites at Brewerton, New York, the famous archaeologist William A. Ritchie (1946:1) found it fitting to consider (with due irony) the opinion of the 1790s French traveler, le duc de La Rouchefoucauld Liancourt. While camped at Fort Brewerton (built in the 1750s near the outlet of Oneida Lake), Liancourt remarked that America […]

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The Old Ones

Posted by Edward V. Curtin on March 21, 2013 in Archaeology |

Buffer  Recently I remembered being an archaeology student, and how the words that archaeologists use for periods, cultures, or traditions often sounded familiar yet unfamiliar: names like the Archaic and the Woodland, Laurentian and Point Peninsula. These are words which sound strange in some ways to everyone who doesn’t deal with them routinely: words sometimes […]

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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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“If I have seen farther…” Why State Archaeologists, Archaeology Curators, and State Museums Are Important

Posted by Edward V. Curtin on July 8, 2011 in Archaeology |

Kindle “If I have seen farther” Isaac Newton said, “it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” And so he acknowledged his debt to those on whose work his great achievements were based.  The prominent American sociologist, Robert K. Merton, delving deeper into Newton’s aphorism, found that the Romans, too, knew about standing on […]

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Robert E. Funk Memorial Archaeology Foundation

Posted by Edward V. Curtin on May 28, 2010 in Archaeology |

BufferRobert E. Funk was the New York State Archaeologist from 1971-1993.  He made significant contributions to the archaeology of several regions, but most substantially to the understanding of the prehistoric and early contact periods in the Hudson, Mohawk, and Susquehanna valleys.  In the 1960s, Bob also initiated Cultural Resource Management archaeology at the State Museum […]

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