Sunday, October 25, 2009

23th Annual Highlands Conference - Saturday, October 24, 2009

at Lautenburg Visitor Center, Sterling Forest State Park

115 Old Forge Road, Tuxedo, NY

Hosted by the Archaeological Society of New Jersey, North Jersey Highlands Historical Society and our Chapter

Included in the “Prehistoric Pottery from the Region” exhibit were items for both Fred Assmus and Ray Decker’s collections.

For the morning session, Thomas Fitzpatrick lead a hike to the Augusta Mine site and miners' cabin ruins which ended just as the heavy rains started to fall.

Chapter members, Gary and Glen Keeton, kicked off the afternoon program with “The Discovery and Excavation of a Mastodon from the Bank of the Wallkill River, Orange County, NY.”

A half dozen speakers followed:

  • “Understanding Rockshelters.” by R. Michael Stewart;
  • “Cultural Ecology on a Need to Know Basis.” by Roger Moeller;
  • “Pompotowwut-Muhheakanneau. Part 1: the Pomptons (Pumptons)” by IOCCNYSAA member, Kate S. Ahmadi;
  • “James Alexander's Journey to the Upper Delaware, 1718.” by Rich Walling;
  • “Forging Ahead in the Somerset Hills; Archaeological Documentation of an 18th Century Bloomery Forge in Bernardsville, NJ.” by Richard Veit;
  • And closing with “Views from High Point” by Myra Snook.

Today’s conference was expertly organized by Edward J. Lenik, IOCCNYSAA, ASNJ and NJHHS.

Carol Johnson, Ph.D., NJHHS, mc’d the affair with flair.

Thanks to Ray Decker, with assistance from Kevin Storms & the Johnsons for manning the Chapter's table. And to Fred & Sharon Assmus as well as Ray Decker (again) for bringing pottery items for the exhibit.

And special thanks to Doc Bayne, Sterlng Forest State Park Education Ranger for his hospitally and for making this wonderful facility available!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

A Call for Data: The New York Paleoindian Database Project By Jonathan C. Lothrop, New York State Museum

As part of ongoing research on Late Pleistocene adaptations in New York, the New York State Museum is renewing its commitment to the statewide fluted point survey begun in the 1950s by Dr. William A. Ritchie, a former IOCCNYSAA chapter member. Jonathan C. Lothrop, the Museum's Archaeology Curator, requests our help in systematically recording data on recent or previously unrecorded Paleoindian projectile points, as part of the New York Paleoindian Database Project.

Link to: The New York Paleoindian Database Project (NYPID)

Reporting form at

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Seven chapter members tour Monroe Iron Mines

Town of Monroe Historian, James Nelson, leads an expedition to four iron mines in his town.

Standing on a rock bridge within the O'Neal Mine (star in 2004 aerial photo) Jim relayed its history, including the story told to him by one of the old timers, who was a student in the Turkeytown School, as the locality was called then, when the building started to shake. The teacher would not let the kids flee. A mine collapse is what shook the school, which was subsequently moved further from the mine.

Upon climbing up to the Forshee Mine, Teri looked through this arch to a surprise.
The surprise was the view from the top of this cliff face (red arrow) cut by miners removing the ore from the mountain.

The Mombasha is a 'U' shaped deep cut as seen in this 2007 aerial view.

Crossing the cut on a supporting horizontal pillar.
Our thanks to Jim Nelson for sharing these remains of Monroe's mining history with us!

Friday, October 16, 2009

David Johnson: "His research in Peru and Chile"

President, David Johnson reported on his 14 years of research in the Pacific coastal regions of South America. Wearing a jacket in the type worn by the peoples of that area, decorated in the Inca style.

Dave's groundbreaking work in connecting the archaeological record with the geoglyphs, geology and hydrology was relayed in a fascinating presentation including many artifacts, and slides. He and his colleagues learned to read the geoglyphs, such as the Nazca Lines to predict sources of water in these coastal deserts, some of the driest inhabited places on this planet.
His work is also available in his book:
"Beneath the Nasca Lines and the Coastal Geoglyphs of Peru and Chile"

Friday, October 9, 2009

THE ARCHAEOLOGIST; Vol. 10, October 16, 2009 excerpts

Meeting Notice: The October meeting will be held on Friday, October 16 at 7:30 P.M. Pres. David Johnson will address the meeting with respect to his work in South America.


President’s Message:

During the last several meetings some of the new members have been asking me about my research in Peru and Chile since they are unaware of what I was doing there. It has been a few years since I last presented to the chapter on this topic and many new members have joined during that time. Therefore at this meeting I will discuss my research. For those of you who have been a member for several years I will be including new discoveries made during the last three years. I will also be showing a display of artifacts from ancient Peru and Chile. So there is something new for everyone.

At this point in time we have the following programs scheduled for the next few meetings:

November – Annual dinner - Robert Ferenac

December – Flintlocks of the French and Indian War through the Revolution

January – Historic archaeology


The trusteeship currently held by Richard Havlicek is up for election this year. The nominating committee endorses his nomination. We will accept additional nominations at the next meeting.


Fall Conference: On Saturday, October 24th, our chapter and the North Jersey Historical Society will co-sponsor a conference at Ringwood. Members Gary Keeton and Kate Ahmadi, Phd., will represent the chapter as speakers that day. Member Ed Lenik is chairman of the event. The morning program consists of a field trip and papers will be presented in the afternoon. Check here for updates or go to This is a great day for seeing fall foliage at its best.


Fall Symposium. The symposium will be held on October 31st, from 9 AM until 5 PM at the Montgomery Middle School located on Rt. 17K in Montgomery. There will be a full program of speakers and displays. Members Jay Sipila, Brian Manning and Joe Mlcoch will again demonstrate flint knapping. Plan to attend and bring a friend, there will be lots of things to see and do, children are welcome. We will be inviting the public via the media and help will be needed. The focus of the symposium will be mastodons, in concert with the Town of Montgomery’s on going promotion of the Mastodons exhumed in the town and also their new

museum. Contact Charles Tudor, to help set up, greet the public, or to in any way. Get involved, you will be glad that you did.


Annual Dinner Chairman Charles Tudor has secured the facilities at the Town of Wallkill golf club for our annual dinner to be held on Sunday, November 22, beginning at 5 P.M.

The principal speaker for the evening will be Robert Ferenac, Phd., Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology at the NYS Museum.

The festivities, catered by The Eagle’s Nest Restaurant, will begin with hot and cold selections served in style by waiters. Abundant fruits, salads and cheeses will be displayed for your dining pleasure. The dinner selections will be culinary delights of fish, chicken and beef, all prepared by expert chefs, followed by dessert and coffee. Chairman Tudor has arranged a special all inclusive price of $48.00 per person for this event. Please use the reservation form and return it by November 9th/ Remember, non member guests are welcome. Invite your friends to see what Orange County Archaeology is all about.

The dinner will take the place of the November meeting. No Friday night meeting in November.


*** If anyone has any archaeology magazines or others related to this topic and would like to share them with other members please bring them in.

*** Forum: Members are encouraged to send in items to Pres.David Johnson for the next newsletter.