Thu, Jul 07

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Vestal

What Is Archaeology In Vestal?

Archaeology is an invitation to the community to begin to engage in a discussion on the shared history of this place in which we live.

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Time & Location

Jul 07, 2016, 7:00 PM

Vestal, 328 Vestal Pkwy E, Vestal, NY 13850, USA

About the event

What Is Archaeology In Vestal?

It is an invitation to the community to begin to engage in a discussion on the shared history of this place in which we live.

These soils have been stepped on by humans for thousands of years. Earlier inhabitants drank from and navigated the river we gaze at with such familiarity as we drive down Route 434. These people who came before us trekked up colorful autumn hills. Did they marvel at the beauty as we do now when October is particularly spectacular?

We want to dedicate this corner of our museum to questions concerning our Native American predecessors and how we are able to learn about them through Archaeological practice. We hope you have a lot of questions.

During the Paleo-Indian Period 10,000-8,000 B.C. The ice melted from the ice age glaciers that covered the Southern Tier.  Prehistoric people could start hunting large game animals like caribou and bison. “Nomadic big game hunters” are what archeologists call these people, because they followed herds along their migratory routes.  There is little evidence known about these people’s shelter and clothing but it is assumed that they lived in and were clothed by the bones and thick hides of the large game animals.

The Archaic period from 8000-1500 BC was a time when many of the large animals became extinct. Little evidence of population here suggests that the coniferous forests that existed during this time could not support large populations of hunting and gathering groups. The people lived further south at this time and came to upstate NY to hunt and fish during prime hunting season. By the end of the Archaic period the weather shifted to a more humid climate and warmer temperatures and a large diversity of plants and animals flourished. Archaeologists believe that people lived together in groups of 25-30 people and hunted and gathered. They now ate a wider range of foods including meats, fish, wild plants and nuts instead of focusing mainly on wild game like the people before them.

The Transitional Period 1500BC-1000BC contains significantly different artifact traits. There was a change from the use of stone bowls to clay pots. Another trait of this period is the appearance of cremation burials and the beginnings of burial rituals may have taken root during this period.

In the Woodland Period 1000 BC-1600AD, many changes take place gradually over a long period of time. People began to gather and store plant food. At the sites where people lived there are pits in the ground for the storage of nuts. The people would store the food for when food was scarce. There was also the beginning of more long distance trade with other peoples. In 1000AD “we have the first firm evidence of agriculture in the eastern United States from the Round Top Site in Endicott, New York. Archaeologists examined the site in the 1960’s and recovered the remains of corn, beans and squash (referred to as the three sisters in Iroquois mythology) from refuse pits.” This changed the way people lived. Instead of roaming in small packs, now people began to live together in villages throughout the year.

Versaggi, N. M. (1986). Hunter To Farmer. Binghamton, NY: Roberson Center for The Arts and Sciences

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