Monday, May 30, 2011

Florist Site reopened for the 2011 season!

 New member, Veronica, leads the site veterans, Gary & Steph through the new spring growth for the first time this season!

 Veronica was a quick study under the guidance of Step & Gary, spotting the majority of today's flakes, from a tiny finishing flake up to the largest found today!
Steph measures the sub-soil horizon in one of Fred's test pits.

Today's "I" line test pits yielded surprising few cultural objects!

Friday, May 20, 2011

May 20th Meeting

President Dave proudly presents Ray Decker a certificate commemorating his 51 years of contributions to, membership in and leadership of the Chapter!  
Joseph R. Blondino, who, working in conjunction with the National Park Service, have been excavating in the backyard of General George Washington's headquarters at Valley Forge. He gave an very interesting talk about his work and findings entitled "A More Tolerable Quarter: Finding Washington’s Dining Hut at Valley Forge" to roughly 25 attending.

Gary's equisitely crafted special raffle point was won by our newest member, Cindy! Shown here with friends Laura and Leslie admiring her good fortune! 

Florist site work to resume Sunday, May 29th!

Hello All! It is finally that time again! We are all set to return to the Florist site. I had hoped to begin this weekend (5/21) but have decided that due to the horrible weather we have experienced this week, digging conditions this weekend will not be so ideal for the 1st day back. We will however begin next Sunday 5/29 from 9am-1pm. I understand that it is Memorial Day weekend and if anyone who is interested cannot make it, don't worry and simply join us the following Sunday! Note that if any Sunday it is raining, we will not be digging.

For anyone who has not yet been informed about the site, it is a 2.9 acre multi-component and along the original bank of the Wallkill River. We were given the wonderful opportunity beginning in Novemeber 2009 to investigate this site where we have found evidence from archaic to late woodland occupation, as well as the historic debris from the extant former colonial era inn. We have been conducting shovel test pits to narrow our focus and concentration but will be doing more in-depth excavation this season. It is a wonderful opportunity for any chapter members looking to get their hands dirty, learn techniques, local history, and most importantly have fun and enjoy the participation in real archaeology. For more info I am always obliged to further discuss!

Please note that if you would like to participate, you should bring (but not required): a simple dig kit including shovel, trowel, sharpie, pen/pencil, metric tape measure etc. The site is located in a wooded area and therefore bringing along bugspray is recommeded. If anyone has a sifter or other materials such as buckets, feel free to bring them. The Chapter does have long tapes and a great, large sifter and I supply several buckets as well as artifact bags and necessary paperwork. Also please refer to the Chapter's updated Site Protocol Statement where we have stated our rules related to our excavations.

If anyone has any questions you can contact me directly.

If possible please shoot me an email to let me know if you plan to come on Sunday so I have an idea of attendance, this will not be required every week. I look very forward to getting back out in the field and hope that you are able to join us!


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

There’s Still Time to Register for the APHNYS Historical Marker Workshop!

APHNYS Historical Marker Workshop!This Saturday, May 14, 2011 in Newburgh at the Newburgh Heritage Center

If you have already RSVP’ed—thank you!  We look forward to seeing you.

APHNYS Historical Marker Workshop in Newburgh
Saturday, May 14, 2011
10:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.  
Newburgh Heritage Center
Note: This is a change of venue from original event announcement.
123 Grand StreetNewburghNY  12550
(845) 569-8090
For details, please go to:

Welcoming & APHNYS Updates by President Gerry Smith
Multi-media Presentation: APHNYS Historical Marker Project
How Public Historians Can Utilize Historical Markers in their Work
Important NYS History Updates from the State Historian’s Office
Refreshments will be served.

Help celebrate Heritage Weekend 2011 by joining us in the Hudson Valley!

Let us know you’re coming!Please RSVP to APHNYS at 518-694-5002 or!

These programs made possible through a grant from the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area.

We are currently setting the workshop date for New York City…please stay tuned!

Association of Public Historians of New York State (APHNYS)
1450 Western Avenue, Suite 101
AlbanyNY 12203-3539
Phone:  (518) 694-5002
Fax:  (518) 463-8656

Monday, May 2, 2011

THE ARCHAEOLOGIST Vol. 5, May 20, 2011 excerpts

60 Decker Drive, Middletown, N.Y. 10940
Vol. 5, May 20, 2011

Chapter Web Site -

Chapter email -

Chapter meetings are held on the third Friday of each month except July and August at the Methodist Church in Goshen, which is located on the corner of Main Street and Court Lane. All are welcome.

** Meeting Notice: The May meeting will be held on Friday the 20th, at 7:30 P.M at our regular meeting location, the Methodist Church in Goshen.


Our speaker will be Joseph Blondino who will discuss General George Washington's headquarters at Valley Forge.

"A More Tolerable Quarter: Finding Washington’s Dining Hut at Valley Forge"

by Joseph R. Blondino

For the past two summers, archaeologists from Temple University, working in conjunction with the National Park Service, have been excavating in the backyard of General George Washington's headquarters at Valley Forge. The investigations have revealed evidence of a log cabin used by the general and his officers for both meals and meetings during the Continental Army's winter encampment of 1777-1778. This and other features excavated over the course of the 2009 and 2010 field seasons have revealed much about the use of the landscape around the headquarters building from prehistoric times through the site's use as a historical park. Joe Blondino, field director for the project, will discuss the archaeology at the site and how it has contributed to our understanding of the Revolutionary War encampment, as well as raising issues dealing with how we interpret such landscapes. From more Washington's Headquarters, Valley Forge

Joe Blondino is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Anthropology at Temple University. Although his research focuses primarily on the life ways of ancient Native American groups in the Delaware Valley and greater Middle Atlantic region, he also has a great interest in the archaeology of Colonial America. Considering himself to be a “dirt archaeologist”(meaning one who particularly enjoys the fieldwork side of his profession), Joe has ten years of experience digging numerous sites from all times periods from Pennsylvania to his native Virginia. For more information:


President’s Message

            We will continue to meet at the Methodist Church in Goshen for May and June. We are still looking for an alternative location with handicap assess. Hopefully the senior center in Middletown will be completed by September. We hope to have the annual picnic in July this year. During the last few years several changes have been made at the state level regarding proper procedure for documenting and preserving archaeological site. Therefore it was necessary to update our chapter’s procedures regarding sites. Please review the updated Site Protocol Statement below.

I look forward to seeing you at this month’s meeting.


Site Protocol Statement

            The Executive Committee has updated our chapter’s site protocol statement so that it is in line with local, state and national procedures. I have included the statement below. If any member wishes to review the documents which support this statement please see me at the next meeting. Please thank Stephanie and Gary for putting this together.

IOCCNYSAA Site Protocol Statement

• All sites shall be reported to the New York State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) using an Archaeological Site Inventory Form if not previously reported.

• Proper liability insurance will be held by the IOCCNYSAA for purpose of protecting both Field workers and land owner effective for chapter functions only.

• The Chairperson of the Field Committee will coordinate with landowner time and dates of fieldwork and what persons are permitted on property.

• No chapter member may be on site without knowledge of the Field Committee Chairperson

• No less than two chapter members shall be on site to ensure witness and verification of important finds.

• A camera should always be available for photo documentation.

• Proper research, excavation, laboratory and curation techniques and protocols shall be followed in compliance with New York Archaeological Council Standards, The New York State Historic Preservation Act of 1980 and The Cultural Resource Standards Handbook (October, 2000) as prepared by The New York State Archaeological Council Standards Committee.

• All excavated resources are property of landowner. Should the IOCCNYSAA be granted permission to retain such resources, they will be done so as a dedicated and reported collection in a manner dictated by the NYS SHPO.

• Looting and treasure hunting on any property in the State of New York without consent of landowner is TRESPASSING and THEFT of PRIVATE PROPERTY.

• Any IOCCNYSAA member found in violation of state and federal law regarding trespassing or theft from an archaeological site being excavated by the chapter, may face legal prosecution by landowner as well as revocation of chapter membership.


Florist Site

            Stephanie will be returning to the Florist Site as soon as the ground conditions permit. She will be sending out information regarding dates and time. If you have any questions please contact Stephanie directly or email

            This site provides all our members a wonderful opportunity to experience archaeology first hand. We hope all of our members can take advantage of this opportunity to develop their skills as archeologists. If you are new to the chapter here is your opportunity to participate in an archaeological investigation and learn the techniques needed to properly document a site.


Dutchess Rock Shelter Day

            We will be planning a day at the Dutchess Rock Shelter. Clif suggested we invite local teachers this year and we all agreed this is an excellent idea since the Native American is included in the 4th grade curriculum. We hope to have the date set by the next meeting. Gary has offered to chair this event. He will need help with the planning as well as people to guide and direct people at the site. If you are interested in assisting please contact Gary directly or email


Highlands Conference 2011

Our chapter will co-sponsor the Highlands Conference at Sterling Forest State Park. The Park has approved Saturday Oct 15 for the meeting. This will be the 25th annual Highlands Conference.



            It is time to collect dues for 2011. If you have not yet renewed, please send them in or pay up at the next meeting.