Archaic

Walking in October Light: A Memory of Learning about the Archaic Period

Walking in October Light:  A Memory of Learning about the Archaic Period

This month as I drive down narrow country roads on my way to work, the sunlight shines at low angles through the tree canopies ahead, reminding me of an earlier time when I walked through October light in Albany, New York’s Washington Park on my way to the State Museum.  It was the late 1970s, and I had come to Albany from Binghamton to study with State Archaeologist Bob Funk, supported by a SUNY pre-doctoral research fellowship.

An Early Archaic Radiocarbon Date from Wilton, New York

Last week the radiocarbon dating firm Beta-Analytic, Inc. provided a radiocarbon date for an archaeological feature excavated by Curtin Archaeological in the Town of Wilton, Saratoga County, New York.  The date is 8760 +/- 40 years before present (BP), which when calibrated to the actual range of calendar time (with near-100% certainty) is 7610-7950 BC.  This age falls within the poorly understood period that archaeologists in eastern North America refer to as the Early Archaic (8,000-10,000 radiocarbon years BP), and it is one of only a small number of radiocarbon dates of similar age associated with archaeological sites in New York State.

The Early Archaic Period and the “Missing 2000 Years” in Hudson Valley Prehistory

The Early Archaic Period and the “Missing 2000 Years” in Hudson Valley Prehistory

The “Missing 2000 Years” refers to the period 8,000-10,000 years before present (BP). The former New York State Archaeologist Robert E. Funk (2004:130) used this concept to refer to the poorly known Early Archaic period.