We have been energized and excited by the circulation of our recent Facebook post, a meme asking for a little kind consideration for archaeologists who have to work outdoors in cold, winter weather. We know this job well, we of the Northeastern U.S. Chapped Hands Archaeology Tradition.
The work of the archaeologists at these sites was performed at the request of Omni Housing Development, LLC. The archaeological project was carefully designed to recover information important to the history of the South End prior to construction in Phase 3 of Albany’s South End Revitalization, a project of the Albany Housing Authority.
The practice of burning underbrush to encourage food for browsing herbivores and facilitate hunting also was practiced by North American Indians, as related by anthropologist Gordon Day (1953) in a wide survey of early records of North American exploration and colonial life.
In the Hudson Valley, archaeological sites dating to the period AD 1000-1300 appear to be scarce, or at least relatively invisible to archaeologists. This trend had been noted, for example, by former New York State Archaeologist Robert E. Funk (1976), and has continued to hold through the era of more recent archaeological research and Cultural Resource Management studies. Could the Medieval Warm Period have affected Hudson Valley Native American populations in some significant way, such as causing population decline, out-migration, or a reorganization of settlement patterns?