Saturday, July 2, 2011

Critical NYS Museum staff face layoffs!

    Critical NYS Museum staff face layoffs as Gov. Coumo seeks to slash museum funding. Unless agreement is reached and the Governor relents, layoffs will take effect July 22nd. Among those jobs to be eliminated are the positions held by Dr. Jon Lothrop and by Dr. Christina Riech.  Both have been extremely supportive of the Orange County Chapter for several years.  Recently Christina arranged the funding for the excavation of the Tunkamoose Mastodon tusks, dated at 14,000 BP and the second longest tusks on record,  and Jon directed the Cultural aspect of the excavation. This was the first in situ scientific excavation of a Mastodon in NYS.  All others were disturbed by construction or farming equipment prior to recovery.

  At this time, Jon is engaged in a project to survey and record Paleo artifacts found within NYS.  This past Wednesday he came to Washingtonville and recorded the Russell Hallock Collection as well as two Clovis points owned by Bruce Decker. His work Wednesday has confirmed that a local site where Russ found seven fluted points is among the most significant Paleo sites in NYS.

  Just last Tuesday Jon and Andrea Lain spent two hours with members of the Orange County Chapter guiding us through the thousands of artifacts stored at the Museum in the "back rooms."

  The Orange County Chapter has spent years building relationships with NYS Museum staff.  Our primary function as a Chapter is to be the ears and eyes of the Museum.  The level of trust which fosters that relationship is the result of our conducting our Chapter activities as responsible members of the archaeological community and not simply as as artifact collectors.  The loss of these professionals will be a major loss to our Chapter and to the Archaeological community.
Harold Ray Decker, Past Pres. IOCCNYSAA

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