Tuesday, February 6, 2018

February 16, 2018 Program

Dave Johnson’s program will discuss astronomical alignments associated with Ceremonial Landscapes throughout North America. On this example, the sun’s shadow points to various pictographs during different seasons. Thus, this is a calendar.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Program following January, 2018 meeting

January 19, 2018 Program: 
The Quest for the Lost Tomb of Chan Bahlum:
Investigations at Palenque, Mexico and Robinson Crusoe Island, Chile 

The ancient Maya culture of Central America has fascinated scholars and the general public alike for more than 175 years since the pioneering explorations of Catherwood and Stephens in the 1840s.  With soaring temple pyramids and exquisite sculpture and hieroglyphic inscriptions, the mysteries of the Maya stimulate the imagination in ways unparalleled by most other pre-Columbian civilizations of the western hemisphere.  Since his very first visit to Palenque in southern Mexico in 1995, archeologist Jim Turner has sought to plumb the depths of this enigmatic culture in an attempt to elucidate the sublime sophistication of their constructions and the stunning accuracy of their astronomical knowledge.
During a seemingly unrelated adventure in 1996 on Robinson Crusoe Island off the coast of Chile, Jim stumbled upon a megalithic monument larger than the Egyptian Sphinx which depicted the Mayan Sun God and a crouching jaguar, the two central images depicted in Palenque’s Temple of the Sun (shown above).  Assuming it to be the work of the ancient Palenque king Chan Bahlum, Jim has spent the last 20 years patiently unravelling the secrets of this monumental masterpiece.  As perhaps the most famous of all Maya kings, Pakal the Great was buried upon his death in his famous tomb deep within the Temple of Inscriptions by his son Chan Bahlum who inherited the throne and presided over a Golden Age of art and architecture that has caused Palenque to be considered the crown jewel of Maya cities.  But Chan Bahlum’s burial chamber, often referred to as the “Holy Grail of Mayan Archeology”, has never been identified despite decades of excavations within each of his temple pyramids.  This lecture will detail the evidence that suggests Chan Bahlum is entombed behind his funerary monument on the quasi-mythical Island of the Jaguar Sun.
With the knowledge of the distant island monument guiding his research, Jim was able to reverse-engineer an interpretation of the Palenque hieroglyphic inscriptions and reveal an unknown dimension of geographical knowledge and scientific accuracy hitherto unrecognized for an ancient civilization.  Beyond the technical and navigational abilities required just to travel the 3,000 miles to the treasure island, the Maya demonstrated their mastery of astronomy by positioning the monument at a location that witnessed the final total solar eclipse of 2012 a mere one degree above the ocean horizon at sunset at the end of a 5,000-year calendar cycle.  The astounding precision of their prediction of this eclipse is essentially beyond even our most advanced science of the present day.  And it is the eclipse geometry incorporated into the island monument as well as in the temple complex of Chan Bahlum in Palenque that elicits the elegant solution to the mystery of the location of his hidden burial chamber.  Building on new data from his eighth expedition to the island in December 2016 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the monument’s discovery, Jim will detail his methods and conclusions regarding the likely location of the entrance to the tomb of Chan Bahlum.

Jim Turner has a Masters degree in Mesoamerican archeoastronomy and is the founder and Principal Investigator of STRATA Cultural Resource Management, an archeological consulting firm based in New York.  He has conducted more than 100 archeological investigations across New York State and has identified dozens of sites ranging from 4,000-year-old Archaic ceremonial caches to more recent Revolutionary War-era sites.  He flies a Phantom drone and utilizes a Makerbot 3D printer to help image and model the aspects of some of his discoveries.  He is also an avid eclipse chaser with visits to 9 different countries to witness these rare astronomical events with his most recent trip in August 2017 to Cerulean, Kentucky where he positioned himself along the centerline at the Point of Greatest Eclipse.  He is currently planning his ninth expedition to Robinson Crusoe Island where he hopes to fly a drone-mounted infrared camera and use a remote inspection camera to reveal for the first time in over 1,300 years the interior of the tomb of Chan Bahlum.

Friday, November 17, 2017

2017 Annual Chapter Banquet replaces regular November meeting!

Reminder: Tomorrow's 2017 Annual Chapter Banquet at
Bottoms Up Restaurant, 1965 NY-284, Slate Hill, NY 10973 replaces our regular Friday night meeting this month!

Saturday, October 7, 2017

THE ARCHAEOLOGIST Vol. 10 October, 2017

Th October issue of THE ARCHAEOLOGIST Vol. 10 October, 2017 has been sent to the membership. Please, let us know if you do not receive your copy.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Archaeological Discoveries in the Lower Hudson Valley October 21, 2017.

Archaeological Discoveries in the Lower Hudson Valley
OCTOBER 21, 2017, 9AM-5PM

List of speakers and times at the Oct. 21 Symposium on
“Archaeological Discoveries in the Lower Hudson Valley”
Rowley Building Room 010 Middletown Campus
  • 9-9:50 AM“Understanding Past Native American Cultures in the Hudson Valley through Archaeology” by Eugene J. Boesch Ph.D. R.P.A., Archaeologist and Historic Preservation Consultant
  • 10-10:50 AM
    • “The Dutchess Quarry Caves site near Florida, NY - A Window into Prehistory” by Barry D. Kass, Prof. Emeritus of Anthropology, SUNY Orange
    • “The Proposed Management and Interpretative Plan for the County-Owned Lands at Dutchess Quarry Caves” by David Church, Orange County Gov. Commissioner of Planning
  • 11-11:50 AM “Archaeological Research in the Shawangunk Mountains, 2006-2016” by Lucy Lewis Johnson, Professor Emerita of Anthropology, Vassar College
  • 12-1 PM  Lunch break
  • 1-1:50 PM “Ceremonial Stone Landscapes of New York State” by David Johnson, Trustee, Orange County Chapter-NYS Archaeological Assoc.
  • 2-2:50 PM “The Native Peoples in the Lower Hudson Valley at the Time of European Contact, and Their Fate” by Richard W. Hull, Professor of History emeritus at New York University and official Town Historian of Warwick New York.
  • 3-3:50 PM “Revolutionary War Archaeology in Fishkill, NY” by William Sandy, Archaeologist and member of the “Friends of Fishkill Supply Depot”
  • 4-4:50 PMThe Iron Chain Across the Hudson Which Saved the Colonies” by Doc Bayne, Historian

Register during the Symposium  for guided tours of the

Both Events are FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

Symposium and Dutchess Quarry Caves Tours organized and sponsored by the Behavioral Sciences Dept at Suny Orange ( Cory Harris, Chair, and Barry Kass, Prof. Emeritus of Anthropology), The Orange County Chapter-NYS Archaeological Association (Stephanie Benson, President), and Orange County Government Department of Planning (David Church, Commissioner)

Facebook event link: 

Saturday, September 16, 2017

September Meeting.

Hot off the press, the Chapter's Occasional Papers #4 were distributed to members present!

Plans underway for our Archeological Symposium - October 21st at Orange County Community College co-sponsored by our Chapter, the Behavioral Sciences Dept at Suny Orange, and Orange County Gov. Department of Planning.

Nominations are open for two Trustees:
Nominated at tonight's meeting are the two incumbents whose terms expire this year: Barry Kass & David Johnson
(All other Officer and Trustee terms expire 2018.)

Jim Wisochlo from the Forks of the Delaware Chapter 14 of the Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology gave an excellent presentation on his Paleo end scraper discoveries, reconstructions and experimental confirmation of their utility.