Saturday, May 30, 2009

Bill Engelbrecht will discuss the Eaton site at the Juen19th meeting.

Incorporated Orange County Chapter of the New York State Archaeological Association
Public program following the June 19th meeting:
(Photo credit: Houghton Chapter of the New York State Archaeological Association)

Between 1975 - 2000, William Engelbrecht, a recently retired Buffalo State College Professor, author, and current President of the New York State Archaeology Association directed 17 summer archaeological field schools on the Eaton site in western New York. Eaton is a multi-component site containing a large mid 16th century Iroquoian village. Since retiring in 2003, Bill has been working with the material excavated from the site. His talk will focus on the research potential of the collection.

Bill Engelbrecht will involve the audience in "brain storming" - just what kind of studies can be done with the archaeological material gathered from these 17 years of digging the Eaton site?
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The Program is free and open to the public.
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Saturday, May 23, 2009

Dwight Warren

Dwight Warren was a friend and a colleague of mine in archaeology. I always was in awe of his incredible passion and dedication to the cause of Archaeology and all things Earth Science. I always gave Dwight the honor of leading my Archaeology/Prehistory class trips from SUNY Orange to our annual class field trip to the DQ caves, and I enjoyed his knowledgeable presentations. Dwight was the driving force behind the present day display case of Orange County archeology located in the Library at SUNY Orange., and this will serve as part of his lasting legacy and contribution to the field of archaeology in our area. Not long after he and April relocated to Cortez, Colorado, my wife, Janet, son Dan, and I went out to the four corners area and paid them a visit. We had a great day together touring the Anasazi sites of Mesa Verde National Park. Dwight was a fascinating and extraordinary person, whose company I enjoyed greatly. He was a self-taught scientist, who made important and lasting contributions to the cause of science and archaeology in the lower Hudson Valley. May he long be remembered and commemorated for his important contributions to science in our area. He will be missed!

Dr. Barry Kass

Friday, May 22, 2009

Dwight Jeffrey Warren 1955 - 2009

Dwight Jeffrey Warren 1955 - 2009

Former Inc. Orange Co. Chapter - NYSAA Vice-President Dwight Warren, relentless promoter of NY State archaeology and paleontology passed away after a long illness. He helped save Dutchess Quarry Caves and gave countless tours. He played an important role on the Hyde Park mastodont (he would not let me spell it mastodon) and countless digs from Saratoga to Montauk to Wawayanda. He was the County Historian’s right-hand-man. He taped many lectures for the Co. Historian. He single-handedly built the Ice Age Orange County exhibit. He sold the replica of the Warren Mastodont that is on display in the County Center for a few cents on the dollar so that it would stay in Orange County. And on and on…What a loss!

The local memorial will be Saturday June 6 at 1PM at the Otisville –Mt. Hope Presbyterian Church, 25 Main St., Otisville, NY. It will be followed by refreshments and a chance to chat with Dwight’s friends and family. If you would like to say a few words at this service, please contact Bill Sandy (845) 726-0956 or to get on the list.

Arrangements for Dolores resident Dwight Jeffrey Warren are pending with Ertel Funeral Home.

Dwight was born Jan. 6, 1955, in Middletown, N.Y., the son of Harry and Joyce E. (Mayfield) Warren. He passed away at his home Monday, May 18, 2009, at the age of 54.

For further information, contact Ertel Funeral Home at 565-3468 or log on to and click on the obituary section.

Sign Dwight's guest book

Cards can be sent to April:

PO Box 606

Cortez CO 81321

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Washingtonville site investigation - Season two.

The crew arrived, eager to dig into the 2009 season!

Dave carefully tutored our youngest volunteers.

Lots of fire cracked rock and a relatively small number of chert chips came out of today's squares, but no evidence of a fire pit.

The find of the day was a nice quartz Brewerton point by newest member, Laura, on her first dig!

The forecast rain held off until we were gone. Another neat day!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Expedition to a local eighteenth century barn

The Charles F. Johnson & Son Dairy Farm

Story by Clifton Patrick, Town of Chester Historian. Photos by Clif Patrick & Leslie Smith

In his 1998 Chester Historical Society oral history interview, Charlie Johnson mentioned that one of his barns, which dates from the 1700s, has an upside-down scale drawing of the roof structure on one of the beams, but that it could not be seen, since it is in the hay loft under tons of hay.

A little while ago, Charlie called me to ask if I’d like to see that drawing, since the hay loft was empty for the first time in a long time, but that this year’s first cut would be coming in soon. He generously extended the invitation to include members of the Chester Historical Society and our Chapter! May 9th was selected for the visit and about a dozen folks were able to make it.

Charlie warmly greeted us and we scampered up the narrowest aluminum ladder I’ve ever seen into the hay loft. The barn was built in two sections: We entered the newest section, built around the time of the Civil War, stepping carefully across the uneven hundred and fifty year old hay strewn floor to the early section.

Making it to the 1700s section, we climbed over massive beams to reach the drawing laying out the roof plan to the scale of one inch equals one foot. It must have been done before the barn was raised while that beam was still on the ground. It ended up up-side-down as the beam was hoisted roughly ten feet in the air to its spot in the structure. The cross beams are roughly 30 feet long and just massive!

Here, member Jon Leonard, photographs scale drawing under Charlie Johnson's careful guidance. Close-up with drawing highlighted.

The timbers are mostly assembled with oak pins securing the mortise and tenon joints. Another interesting detail that Mr. Johnson pointed out were the roof rafters in the early section of the barn were tapered. Thinner at the roof peak where there is less weight to carry and growing bigger towards the eaves to support the extra loads from the roof structure above. This layout was no accident, as evidenced by the fact that the upper ends were numbered with Roman numerals.

Just imagine the work it took to fell the trees, hew them into beams, drill holes, carve out the mortis & tendons joints, then hoist them overhead into place - all by hand! And that was just to build one barn! Then came nearly three hundred years of operating the farm itself! The inside of this barn with its exposed structure is very impressive!

As this is a working farm, Mr. Johnson also gave us a short tour of the milking parlor explaining modern dairy operations compared to the way is was done in earlier times.

A special thank you to Charles Johnson, his family and staff for sharing this day with us!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You!

What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You!

Take a Health and Safety Course!

Be Prepared for Potential Risks in the Field and Office!

Panamerican will hold a Health and Safety Session for Archaeologists on Friday, June 19th, starting at 9:00 am. The session will be held at the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation's Peebles Island Resource Center, Waterford, NY.
Please contact Doug Mackey at the following addresses to indicate attendance:
Douglas Mackey
New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation
Peebles Island
PO Box 189
Waterford, NY 12188
(518) 237-8643 x 3291

The sessions are most certainly open to all who undertake archaeological projects, field schools and research within the state, professional or otherwise.
No charge, they are free. The sessions are paid through a state grant.

Funded by:

The New York State Occupational Safety and Health Training and Education Program Contract No. T013204

Sponsored by:

Panamerican Consultants, Inc. (PCI) and Panamerican Environmental Inc. (PEI)

Given by Michele H Hayward and Peter Gorton

Michele Hayward, Archaeologist with Panamerican Consultants and Peter Gorton, Health and Safety Specialist with Panamerican Environmental

Training Session Particulars:

Length: a mere 6 hours in which to enlighten you!

Cost: best of all, the session is free! Lunch is not provided.

Topics Covered: Physical (examples: heat/cold stress; field excavation safety procedures; utility cable field safety), Biological (examples: tick born diseases; poisonous/dangerous animals), and Chemical (examples: toxic chemicals; laboratory materials; hazardous wastes in air, soil, water) hazards; review and development of a health and safety plan.

Session Training Techniques: presentation of information through power point system and materials such as a health and safety manual; discussion by way of trainer’s and participant’s field/office experiences

Certificates: a certificate with your name prominently displayed is presented upon completion of the course.

Where Can I or My Field Crew or My Student Class or My Firm’s Employees Sign up for this Unique Opportunity?

Douglas Mackey

New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Peebles Island

PO Box 189

Waterford, NY 12188

(518) 237-8643 x 3291


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Buffalo Branch Office · 2390 Clinton Street · Buffalo, NY 14227 ·:

Phone: 716 821-1650

Fax: 716 821-1607


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

May meeting: This month should be more fun, we get to break some rock!

Hi folks,

This Friday (5/15) will be second half and the “Hands On” part of the flintknapping class. I hope everyone enjoyed last month’s meeting. I know that it was long. This month should be more fun, we get to break some rock!

Just a couple of things:

Anyone who purchased a knapping kit should open it and try to do some knapping. Go as far as you can until you get stuck.

Bring everything in and we will try to get you past the problem areas. Don’t forget to use the checklist before you hit the rock

(Unless the rules of physics don’t apply to you).

If you did not purchase a kit but would like to try your hand at knapping, please contact me as soon as you can so that I can prepare accordingly.

For those who missed the first session, don’t let that keep you from attending the second session. I will bring in all of the printed material and will be available to answer questions.

If you are interested in archeology I am sure there will be something of interest for everyone!

Gary Sipila

Saturday, May 9, 2009

NY State Library's Digital Collections

The New York State Library's Digital Collections contains several Cultural Resource Management reports and full-text books. See link below to search digital collections. These books along with others are available for download.

Funk, Robert E. 1976 Recent Contributions to Hudson Valley Prehistory. Memoir 22. New York State Museum, Albany.

Ritchie, William and Robert Funk 1973 Aboriginal Settlement Patterns in the Northeast. Memoir 20.

Hart, John P. (editor) 1999 Current Northeastern Paleoethnobotany. New York State Museum Bulletin No.494. New York State Museum, Albany.

Enable pop-up windows.

Search for an item.

Click on item link and a popup window will open that starts downloading the publication.

These are large files, so a high speed connection is recommended.

Thanks to Jesse Walker for this info!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

THE ARCHAEOLOGIST Vol. 5, May 2009 excerpts

President’s Message: David Johnson, President.


Dutchess Quarry Tour: Many thanks to Susan Roth who chaired this event and to all who served a guides. The highlight of the day was when student member Samuel Dratch found a large Brewerton side notched type point lying on the talus slope in front of Cave #1. This point was apparently missed by the screener in 1965, and has just washed to the surface again. Congratulations to our sharp-eyed member.

Flintknapping and atalyl throwing demonstrations by Gary Sipila, Brian Manning and Joseph Mlcoch continued to attract a crowd. This year, attendees could actually throw a dart or two and actually chip their own points. The chapter has purchased darts and other equipment for this purpose. They will be used at the upcoming Gander Mountain show on Saturday, July 25th. Call Kevin Storms for information about this event, your help would be appreciated.


Annual Meeting: The NYS Association meeting at Rochester was well attended, about 150 persons registered. Our Chapter will host the next meeting, in April of 2010. Plans are being formulated now, lots of help will be needed to man the registration tables, manage the projectors and sound system, attend the book room, greet people at the reception and make people welcome.

There will be three half-day sessions of presentations by professional archaeologists and by people like ourselves. Prepare now to submit a paper for consideration.


Forum: Tom Brannan has proposed that we again hold a summer picnic on Sunday, July 12th. (Save the date.) for members, their families and guests. Plans are to meet at Shannon Park near Slate Hill, pavilions and tables are available there. Please email us using the link on the right if you would like to help plan this event


DUES: Many thanks for those who have sent in their dues. As we change to electronic mailings, you will no longer be reminded by the date next to your name on the envelope. Active member is $25 and Dual Member is $35. Send a check to IOCCNYSAA, 60 Decker Drive, Middletown, N.Y. 10940.

Your Newsletter publisher is Ray Decker Please contact him with chapter business.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

2009 Dutchess Quarry Caves Expedition

Ray briefs the the team before they head up the mountain.

Orange County Legislator, Wayne Decker, begins his descent to the caves.

President Dave Johnson discusses Cave #8 including the 4 fluted points found here.

Sammy, Eric's son, finds an archaic point lying on the surface of the spoils from the 1960's excavation of Cave #1!

Entering Cave #1, which yielded evidence of human use from the 12,000 years ago to colonial times.

Eric points out the chert nodules in the wall of cave #1.

From the overlook, Gary points out the geological features left by the glaciers, still visible in the valley.

Brian and Joe demonstrated their napping skills.

All this and we did not disturb the sleeping residents! Great day!

A special note of appreciation to all our guides and all who came to experience this very special place.