Sunday, June 26, 2011

Fieldtrip UPDATE: NYS Museum at Albany PLUS "The Great Algonkin Flint Mine" at Coxsackie

I got a call from Ray Decker this morning and the meeting point for the Tuesday, June 28th Albany trip has changed!

It will NOT be the Goshen Diner!

Apparently the assembly point is under discussion - call Ray directly for the updated location.

Enjoy the expedition!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Florist Site dig cancelled for 6/26/2011

Hello all, we must regretfully cancel the dig for this Sunday, 6/26 due to the weather. While the forecast calls for 80 degrees and sun on Sunday, the weather we have had all week and forecast of storms for Saturday, have amounted to over 5 inches of rain. Due to the ground saturation, it does not make for easy visibility at all, making it especially difficult for new diggers. Screening will be near impossible with the amount of mud and trowel "smearing" through screens can damage artifacts as well as the screens. I hope that this week coming Mother Nature will be on our side with clear skies and the site will dry some so that we may all return next Sunday without issue. I'm sorry for any inconvenience for anyone who had planned to attend and please join us next week! Thanks!


Friday, June 17, 2011

Florist Site dig cancelled for 6/19/2011

Hello everyone, just a quick note to let you know that we will not be digging this weekend. To anyone that may have stopped by last weekend, I apologize for any inconvenience on cancelling. While the rain held off, it was simply too wet. This weekend neither Gary or I will be available so we will not be digging but will return next weekend (6/26) and Sundays thereafter as well. I hope everyone has a wonderful Father's Day for those that are celebrating, and we will see you back out in the field next week! Thanks,


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Museum Village Hosting Tuesday Speaker Series


June 7, 7:00PM – 8:00PM: Bloomeries, Mines, and Furnaces; 17th & 18th Century Iron Production in the Hudson Region 

Local educator Doc Barnes talks about iron mining in the Hudson Valley. 

June 14, 6:30PM – 7:30PM: "The World in Your Backyard"; an Historical Archaeology Project with Educator Andy Angstrom. 

The speaker is Andy Angstrom an educator from the Ashoken Preserve. He will do a presentation on his recent archaeological dig near the reservoir where he uncovered a circa 1905-1909 workmen's bar. The talk and slide show is entitled "Finding the World in Your Backyard." It includes a sharing of the many artifacts he uncovered as well as his research with archival materials about the particulars of the construction of the reservoir which is the largest supplying New York City and is located in Ulster County.
It's a good presentation! - Bob Schmick

Educator Andy Angstrom shares his discovery of an early 20th Century site associated with the Ashokan Reservoir and the methodology he used to uncover, research, and share his findings. This is a great presentation of interest to both children and parents alike. 

June 21, 7:00PM – 8:00PM: Native American History Presentation 

In conjunction with the display of birch bark and dug-out canoes, Museum Village Interpreter Ray Olsen will present an overview of Native American cultures and more specific local populations of the past through objects. 

June 28, 7:00PM – 8:30PM: Bladesmith Adriaan Gerber Demonstrates Forge Welding and Edge Tool Making at the Museum Village Smithy 

This will be a live demonstration of forge welding and knife making at Museum Village’s smithy by a professional blacksmith. The first meeting of the Hudson Valley Blacksmith Association will follow the demonstration. All who are interested are welcome to join in. 


Every Tuesday through October 4

In addition to enjoying the cars and the friendly automobile camaraderie, there will be a special VIP building tour each week and exciting guest lecturers. Come on in and visit.

- - -

Museum Village
1010 Route 17M
Monroe, NY 10950

845-782-6432 (fax)

Saturday, June 11, 2011

2011-06-11 Dutchess Quarry Cave Chapter Tour

Under threat of rain, Gary, walking backwards, leads the first group up the road to the trail.

 Pausing to discuss an archaic beach front.

View over the present quarry, looking south. 

 Discussing Cave #1.

 Doc explores a solution cavity, the process that made these caves, with his good hand.

Examining the features on the cave wall by flashlight.

Gary, Cindy, Lori & Jon checking out the nineteenth century graffiti.

Climbing out.

The rain held off, and it turned out to be prefect weather for this expedition. Nicely cool and overcast.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

UPDATE: IOCCNYSAA Dutchess Quarry Caves Tour

Note: Due to imposed conditions, this year's tour is restricted to IOCCNYSAA members and their guests.
Sorry, this year's tour is not open to the general public.

Gary cleared a trail today and reports that a lot of fallen trees litter the site and trail! This will 
make the hike up to the caves plus traversing the talus slope more difficult than it has been in the past!

Plus, the wet spring has made for a bumper crop of poison ivy; so be prepared for a much more challenging hike than in previous years.

Hands-on flint-napping and atlatl demonstrations are planned at the assembly point. 10 am is the planned start. Groups of about dozen or so members at a time will be dispatched from the assembly point with guides to archaic beaches, the caves and, possibly, the quarry overlook.

Come appropriately dressed for the hike up the mountain. It will be a moderate to difficult hike this year. Expect to encounter rocky, muddy terrain in addition to fallen trees, thorns, underbrush and steep climb. 

As disease carrying ticks are endemic in Orange County, please take appropriate precautions.
See Centers for Disease Control and Prevention web page "Stop Ticks:"

Some photos from prior expeditions:

Please bring hard hats or other head protection for entering the caves. A few hard hards will be available for communal use.

Email was sent to members with additional details.
Questions? Contact Gary directly or email

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

THE ARCHAEOLOGIST - Vol. 6, June 17, 2011

60 Decker Drive, Middletown, N.Y. 10940
Vol. 6, June 17, 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 June meeting will be held on Friday the 17th, at 7:30 P.M at our regular meeting location, the Methodist Church in Goshen.

Finally! Flint knapping is the feature for this month. So bring your knapping kits if you have one and join Gary, Joe and Brian in reconstructing ancient history. 


President’s Message

            As I mentioned last month we will continue to meet at the Methodist Church in Goshen until we find a suitable alternative site with handicap access. Hopefully the senior center in Middletown will be completed by September. The annual picnic will be held in July this year. I hope you can attend the Dutchess Cave event, our monthly meeting and the picnic. I will be in Albuquerque, NM presenting at the CAASW Conference so Vice-President Chuck Tudor will conduct the meeting.


Dutchess Rock Shelter Day
            The Dutchess Rock Shelter tour is on for June 11. We are meeting at 10 am and finishing whenever we finish. Members are encouraged to bring people who are interested in seeing the site. Volunteers are needed to help with the planning as well as people to guide and direct people at the site. If you are willing to help, please contact Garry Keeton at his cell phone 845-649-5887 or at 845-386-4892 or

IOCC Picnic
 Saturday, July 9, 2011, 12 - 4 P.M.

Shannon Park   Rt. 284  in Slate Hill, N.Y., (just west of route 6.)

  1. Bring your curios for “show and tell.”

  1. Menu:  IOCC will provide hamburgers, hot dogs, lemonade, punch and strawberries.   We will need:  Round and long rolls, salads-potato, macaroni, beans, lettuce & tomato, yellow cakes, uniced, for strawberry shortcake.

  1. Members, family and guests are all welcome.

  1. Donations of all kinds will help!  Dollar bills, food, help setting up, grilling, cleaning up.

  1. Please call Tom / Marilyn Brannan - 845-343-4254  (up to 10 P.M.) to schedule foods and participation.

This event is Rain or Shine! 

Bring a friend, a smile, and an artifact!

From: Robert S. Feranec, Ph.D.
Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology
New York State Museum
3140 Cultural Education Center
Albany, NY  12230

The museum will be having an exhibit over the summer (likely late July/early August) called "From the Collections". It’s based on major collections and contributors of the NY State Museum's collections. My section will have the Arborio mastodon exhibited as well as having a brief description of the IOCCNYSAA, as contributors to the vertebrate paleontology collections. If you come up to see it, let me know, and I can give you all a nice tour of the collections.


            **** I will contact Bob to arrange a date for us to visit the exhibit and take the tour with him.



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 Tice and Gary Keeton 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.


            It is time to collect dues for 2011. Please send your payment to Clif for the time being.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Florist site: 2011-06-05

 Gary finds the big flake of the day:

 Today's crew displaying intense concentration.
Laying in line "J."

Friday, June 3, 2011

"Rocks, Riddles and Mysteries," a new book by chapter member, Ed Lenik

Archaeologist, long time chapter member and author Ed Lenik is widely known for his expertise in northeastern Native American rock art. In the course of his travels and research, he has encountered many strange and curious historical rock and stone carvings and structures, some of which may be regarded as Indian, but the majority of which by his reckoning are “white guy” art. This book describes those sites and objects and the fascinating stories behind their creation.
Puzzling, captivating, and at time bewildering, these  historical curiosities include faces, animals, designs, patterns and scenes carved on rocks through New England, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The author has personally probed and researched each site in some detail, learning when it was first noticed and what the local people had to say about why it was there and who carved or painted it.

Tourist attractions? Boy Scout art? Idle play among quarry workers? Archaeological fraud? Hebrew inscriptions? Outsider art? Norse runes? You can decide, since a handy “See For Yourself” section invites you to visit the sites that are publicly accessible so that you may draw your own conclusions.

Designed to be used in the field, or as an enjoyable read in the armchair, this guide will transport the reader on an adventure of discovery, visiting curious places, looking at mysterious rocks and hearing the stories they have to tell.

Ed's book is available from American History Press.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Tunkamoose: It's a boy!

Hi guys,

Some new info for you.  A brand new paper used principal components analysis to determine whether mastodon tusks are from males or females.  Usually females are smaller.  Based on the size of the Tunkamoose tusk, I assumed it was male but didn't know for sure.  Well, the test confirmed it was from a male.  At least the big complete tusk is from a male.

We also have another person that is conserving the tusk.  Gay retired a couple years ago.  The new conservator is Lisa.  She's doing an amazing job, although with her "real" duties at the museum, she only gets to the tusk a few times a month.  The big tusk is coming along.

Also, the museum will be having an exhibit over the summer (likely late July/early August)  called "From the Collections".  Its based on major collections and contributors of the NY State Museum's collections.  My section will have the Arborio mastodon exhibited as well as having a brief description of the IOCCNYSAA, as contributors to the vertebrate paleontology collections.


Robert S. Feranec, Ph.D.
Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology
New York State Museum
Albany, NY  12230