Statewide Archaeology Meetings and Conference in Lake George, New York, April 21-23, 2017

The Spring 2017 meeting of the New York Archaeological Council (NYAC) will be held at the Fort William Henry Hotel and Conference Center in Lake George on Friday afternoon, April 21.  The business meeting is from 1-3, followed by a most interesting program (3-5 PM):  From Screen to Screen (get it?):  Growing Your Archaeology Community with Video.  A Workshop on Video Production and Distribution for Archaeologists. Rumor has it that this may also include the kick-off of a competition for a prize-winning video.  The main points, however (and the real reason to attend) involve using video to enhance social media visibility and connect with the broad community of people interested in archaeology.   

The New York State Archaeological Association (NYSAA) annual conference will be held at the same venue all day Saturday and on Sunday morning.  Yes, the March for Science is on Saturday, and it’s Earth Day too, but this will all work out.  Believe me.  Archaeologists will be sciencing (to use Leslie White’s old expression) one way or the other, or possibly both.  Despair not if you are marching on Saturday:  one of the highlights of the program is the Sunday morning session of papers by New York State Museum archaeologists.  

I am also partial to the session I am in on Saturday afternoon, because I am in this session with my good friends Ellie McDowell-Loudan and Adam Luscier, and some other great researchers and presenters.  I am looking forward to the Saturday afternoon presentations by Tom Weinman on the excavation of prehistoric sites on Lake George, Kurt Jordan on marine shell from historic Seneca sites, and Joshua Kwoka on Late Woodland communities of practice.  Joshua is working on this with a Funk Foundation grant (as a reminder, Funk Foundation grant applications are due on April 30.).   

As far as I am concerned, a Saturday morning paper not to miss is Lucy Johnson et al’s summary of Professor Johnson’s research in the Shawungunk Mountains, 2006-2016.  I have immensely enjoyed the earlier presentations leading up to this one.  Overall, the program is diverse, and everyone should find something of great interest here (for example, Joe Zarzynski’s and Brigid Shaw’s search for clues to the history of a French and Indian War naval vessel, first thing Saturday morning).    

As a preview, the abstract of my paper “Revisiting the Archaic Period in New York State” reports that I will follow up on this subject:

Information concerning the Archaic period in New York State has grown considerably over the years.  Scholarly issues have as well.  Recently I have reviewed the literature on the Archaic period in New York to update the state of knowledge as it has developed since the publication of Ritchie’s Archaeology of New York State.  The present paper is a short version of this review, providing brief descriptions of (1) environmental dynamics such as Early to Mid-Holocene climate-change, sea-level rise, lake-basin inundation, and flood-plain stabilization; (2) implications of these for inland migration and encounter; and (3) historical and cultural processes involving material culture traditions and community formation.  Special attention is given to possible ethnogenesis during the Frontenac and River phases, and the possibility of Late Archaic village organization.

Wish me luck with this.  I’m working on it.  There is a lot more about the upcoming conference including the schedule and abstracts on the New York State Archaeology website.