Adirondack Chapter

New York State Archaeological Association

Adirondack Chapter Logo NYSAA

Founded in 1992 in Fort Edward, New York

Chapter Meetings and Activities

The Vermont Archaeological Society in conjunction with The Adirondack Chapter of the New York State Archaeological Association presents:

Archaeology Day at Rogers Island Visitors Center, Fort Edward, NY

Friday, October 17


 “Vampires, Witches and Fear: A Brief Introduction to Identifying Superstition in the Archaeological Record”

Presented by Abigail Herlihy

The belief in vampires and witchcraft, and the folkloric practices devised to combat them, were strong cultural traditions carried by colonists from the Old World to the New.  This presentation briefly introduces the cultural background relevant to identifying the physical remnants of superstition in the archaeological record with a specific focus on vampire burials and the spread of the witch bottle ritual  in the United States.   Refreshments will be served!

Spring Meeting

Saturday, May 3rd at Crown Point State Historic Site, New York

Registration opens at 8:30am Presentations from 9am – 3pm
The Crown Point and Chimney Point Historic Sites will be open.

Download Flyer

Includes boxed lunch from the Bridge Restaurant.
Please pre-register (for head count) by contacting:
Sarah van Ryckevorsel (

Next Meeting

June 20, 2014

A Mohican Station on the Upper Hudson River by Matt Lesniak, Hartgen Archeological Associates, Inc.

When a late Precontact site was found on the Hudson River bank in 2012, it was thought to be as likely to have been occupied by the Mohawk as by the more local Mohican population. The site contained evidence for fish preservation, and there are documented visits of Mohawk fishing parties to the Upper Hudson seeking anadromous fish. The site’s location is at the northeastern corner of Iroquoia, but is also within the settlement area of the Mohicans, a populous Algonquin-speaking group.

Further work at the site, known as MB #33, showed that it was used by a settled group of people. Fish were clearly processed at the site – fish heads, tails, and fins were found out of proportion to the fish bodies, the result of filleting and preserving. But the same feature also contained remains of turkey, muskrat, white-tailed deer, grey squirrel, turtle, and clam.

MB #33 was also the scene of maize horticulture, food gathering (butternut, grape, and grasses), pottery manufacture, and stone tool-making. Clay for the pots and chert for the stone tools were both available a short distance away on the Hudson riverbank. Also within four miles on the river was a likely village, the Little Wood Creek site. If MB #33 was not a village in its own right, what drew people to the location to preserve fish, grow corn, and build pots? Was production at the site intended for a limited group, or did it constitute a small industry (of pottery, of fish)? It is clear that the people at MB #33 were the ancestors of the Mohicans who greeted Henry Hudson downriver only 150 years after the youngest soil feature at the site was filled in.

Biographical Sketch

Matt Lesniak is a project director at Hartgen Archeological Associates in Rensselaer, New York with almost two decades of archeological experience in New York and Vermont. He has research interests in wampum production, Contact-era sites, and Paleoindian sites.

Meeting Time

Meetings are generally held the third Friday of the month at 7:30 PM.  An informative lecture is followed by refreshments and the business meeting.  Formal meetings are generally not held in April due to the NYSAA Annual Conference, July and August due to the chapter picnic/excavation schedule, or December as it is our annual Holiday Party.

Meeting Location

We hold our gatherings at the Rogers Island Visitors Center, Fort Edward, New York.


The NYSAA Adirondack Chapter Newsletter is published monthly in digital format.  Submission deadline is the 25th of each month.  The newsletter is emailed on the 1st of the month.

Chapter Officers

President:  David Starbuck

Vice President:  John Strough

Secretary:   Abigail Herlihy

Treasurer:  Merle Parsons

Newsletter Editor(s):   Abigail Herlihy

2014 Meetings

January 17 — David Starbuck Carl Schultze’s Foxy Grandpa: A Historic Comic

February 21 —  Victoria Hafner Digging Dracula–Summary of A Summer 2013 Field School: Examining Burial Practices in Medieval Transylvania

March 21 — Marie Ellsworth Bring me an Axe and Spade, Bring me a winding sheet: Mortuary Practice at Fort William Henry

April 11-13 — NYSAA Annual Meeting

May 3 — Multiple Joint Meeting w/ VAS at Crown Point (May 3) 9:30am

June 20 — Matt Lesniak A Mohican Station on the Upper Hudson River

July 20 — Chapter Picnic, 1-4pm.  Starbuck Farm, Starbuck Hill Road, Chestertown, NY

August — Break

September 19 — David Starbuck Summary of the 2014 Dig Season

October 17 — TBA

November 21 — TBA

December 6 — Wes & Barbara Gottlock Holiday Brunch 11am @ East Cove Restaurant, Lake George, NY.  Topic: Lost Amusement Parks of the Hudson Valley

2013 Meetings

January — Michael Roets In the Wake of Hurricane Irene: Archaeological Evidence of Life at the 18th-Century Fort Hunter and the Lower Mohawk Castle

February — Eileen Klymn Life at a Fortified Village in the 18th Century

March — Louise Basa Buckles, Buttons, Cannonballs: A French and Indian War Excavation Site in Schenectady, NY

April — NYSAA Annual Meeting

May — Don Thompson Egmont, FL: The Little Island with a Big History

June —  David Starbuck Scotland 2013

July — Picnic

August — Break

September — David Starbuck Summary of the 2013 Summer Dig Season

October — Matt Rozell A Backwards Journey into the Holocaust

November — Linda White “Archaeology at Up Yonda: A Farmstead in Bolton Landing”

December — Steven Moragne Holiday Brunch /Welcome Again and Again: Lake George Archaeology at the Million Dollar Beach Site