Sunday, March 3, 2019

SRAC NEWS

I wanted to thank all of you who support SRAC and our mission. Our Center has grown so much since 2005 when Ted Keir, Dick Cowles and I only dreamed of it and even having a building too that could house a museum, lecture hall and gift shop.


Inspired by the early excavations and reports of nearly 100 years ago, our ultimate goal has always been to get back out to these sites with modern knowledge and technology and update the information and understanding of our prehistoric and early historic past. I am honored to report that over the last few years we have actually been doing just that. Our team led by Dr. Deeanne Wymer and Dan Caister have made huge discoveries at our first site that will soon be published in both PA and NY Archaeological journals and used by researchers for years to come.

Dr. Wymer and Tom Vallilee overseeing work by Bloomsburg students at our excavation site

2018 was our second year to offer a Public Archaeology Day where you can actually come out and be a part of our excavation. If you missed it and have a Facebook login, you can watch a great video of the many discoveries that day to include 1,000 year old ELK ANTLERS! here:



The Barbara Sowinski Lab: For those of you who missed the unveiling at our last annual Drumbeats program, the need for a laboratory became evident as we began our excavation work and we were blessed to get a seed matching donation from Barabara Sowinski for our lab which is currently under construction on our second floor. Walls are up, windows are in, lights and electric are in, insulation and ceiling tiles (we are looking for more if you have any that you'd like to donate) being added right now. We need to finish up the floor, add the bathroom and wet lab area then start adding equipment and furniture next. FYI: If not for our Tom Vallilee, I can tell you that none of this could have been achieved as he does most of the labor as a volunteer.


In fact we continue to be staffed 100% by volunteers, which is an amazing statement for the Center and the people who are working so hard to achieve it's goals every year. Currently, we also have four gift shop volunteers that try their best to keep our doors open 5 days a week. Rose Carpenter, Donna Blanton, Tim Ellis, and newbie Gary Eltringham are hard working, dedicated Center and community members that we all are so lucky to have on our team every week. If you'd like to volunteer at the museum, please contact me to learn more!

It humbles me to report that to date SRAC now has three archaeologists on our staff with the most recent addition of Dave Moyer, who has been with us in the background for many years now. In 2018 Dave, who wears many hats within NYS Archaeology professional and avocational organizations also owns his own Archaeology company in Norwich, NY. We are blessed to have Dave and his knowledge and expertise. He is well respected throughout New York State and within SRAC.

Dave Moyer
It's also hard to believe that 2018 was our FIFTEENTH "Drumbeats Through Time" event filled with great presentations, our membership annual luncheon, and of course the Kane Family Seneca Traditional Dance exhibition. The Kanes come from the Cattaraugus Seneca Reservation in Erie County, NY and travel a long way to be a part of our annual celebration for over a decade and are part of our SRAC family. We are blessed to have them come every year to share authentic Seneca traditions with us. "Look and listen for the welfare of the whole people and have always in view not only the past and present but also the coming generations…- The Constitution of the Iroquois Nations"

Part of the Kane Family Traditional Seneca Dance Troupe
Some of you have asked about the SRAC Journal that was published several times a year in the past. Unfortunately, SRAC's cofounder and board member Susan Fogel has been diagnosed with a quite debilitating health issue and no longer can commit to the Journal. We do however hope to get it back to publication in the future. Thank you for your patience.

Susan Fogel looks down at the excavation underway
Goals in 2019 include finishing the laboratory and a more accessible library as well as beginning a new site for our excavations and publishing the article on the last site work.

Again I want to thank all of you for supporting SRAC over the years and allowing us to do this important work for our region and PA and NY Archaeology as a whole. I am blessed and honored to be a part of this amazing organization that Ted, Dick and I only dreamed could be just a few years ago.

But without your support, we simply will not be able to continue our work. We do not receive state or federal funding and literally ALL of funding comes from our community.

We do accept antiques, collectables, used furniture that we can sell at the Crooked River Co-op, and 100% of the sale goes back the SRAC as a fundraiser every month. Over the years we have raised quite a bit from generous people that either are cleaning out their garages, shops, homes or estates, and we have volunteers who will come and pick up as well. We also can give you a donation letter for these donations based on market value for your taxes next year. If you have items and or questions, please contact me to learn more. 

I hope that you will consider supporting us in 2019.  You can donate online via our GoFundMe page here: https://www.gofundme.com/SRACGiving&rcid=r01-155163632376-e13fa6a08c7d426c&pc=ot_co_campmgmt_w

or you can download a mail in form here: https://www.scribd.com/document/400962898/SRAC-Donation-Form




JOIN US!
To become a member, click here: https://sracenter.wordpress.com/memberships/


Thank you for whatever you can do!
 And, please share where you can.

Thanks again for all you do.

Deb Twigg
dtwigg@sracenter.org
607-727-3111
Visit SRAC's Website:  http://www.sracenter.org/

Monday, September 24, 2018

DrumBeats Through Time Scheduled for October 6th



(WAVERLY, NY) The Susquehanna River Archaeological Center (SRAC) located at 358 Broad Street Waverly, NY is announcing the 15th Annual “DrumBeats Through Time” to be held on Saturday October 6th, 2018. The SRAC Annual Luncheon will be held from 11-12:30, and the doors open to the public from 1-5pm. The event is free to attend.

SRAC members are encouraged to attend the membership luncheon this year to get a tour of the ongoing construction of the Laboratory and Research Center on the second floor and to get updates on other SRAC endeavors underway. Exclusive give-aways are also a part of this luncheon. The luncheon will be catered by the Railhouse restaurant and your RSVP is requested in order to plan seating for this popular event. Please call the Center at 607-565-7960 or email info@sracenter.org to RSVP before October 3. Postcards will also be sent to current and recent members as a reminder.

If you have not re-upped your membership or are not sure if your membership is up-to-date, simply
stop in, call the museum or plan to come early and re-up the day of the event.

Doors open to the public at 1pm.

SRAC’s Dr. DeeAnne Wymer and Dan Caister will present "The 2018 Field Season Findings at The Desisti Site: A Tale of Two Occupations.”  The presentation will illustrate the unique items being excavated at the site this year and what findings have been revealed using scientific carbon dating methods. 

At 2pm past NYSAA President Dr. Bill Engelbrecht will present ” Early Late Woodland Pottery from Northwest Pennsylvania” Current terminology used to describe ceramics in the Northeast presents a challenge for both avocational and professional. In some cases two or more ceramic type descriptions overlap while in other cases type names in different areas describe similar material. Some types describe ceramics used for a long period of time, rendering them poor temporal indicators. Using an attribute approach provides a clearer picture of individual specimens but renders comparison with ceramics from other sites problematic unless they are described using the same system. This presentation describes ceramics from a pre-Iroquoian multi-component site in northwest Pennsylvania using a revised ceramic typology coupled with an attribute approach.

At 3pm, SRAC's David Moyer will present, "Prehistoric and Early Historic Native Landscapes in the Upper Susquehanna Valley." The late prehistory and early history of the Upper Susquehanna Valley has created a unique landscape that has presented many challenges to archaeologists. In the 1300s and 1400s the region boasted a large population of prehistoric farmers. It appears that the valleys were then abandoned until the late 17th and early 18th centuries, when the Susquehanna and Chemung valleys were occupied by Native refugees from other regions displaced  by war and European encroachment. These village communities continued to expand throughout the 18th century until the outbreak of the American Revolution when these settlements were abandoned.

At 4pm, Seneca Native American historian Dick Kane will give a presentation on the cultural history of the Seneca. Mr. Kane will display authentic cultural items and discuss their significance.

At 4:30pm, the Seneca Dancers will perform, sharing their culture, music, and dance.The Seneca dancers have been a very popular part of SRAC’s Annual event for over a decade.

We invite the public to experience SRAC and what we celebrate every day, our Native American archaeology, prehistory, history and culture - all in one amazing day.

Friday, September 14, 2018

15th Annual DrumBeats Through Time, October 6th



(WAVERLY, NY) The Susquehanna River Archaeological Center (SRAC) located at 358 Broad Street Waverly, NY is announcing the 15th Annual “DrumBeats Through Time” to be held on Saturday October 6th, 2018. The SRAC Annual Luncheon will be held from 11-12:30, and the doors open to the public from 1-5pm. The event is free to attend.

SRAC members are encouraged to attend the membership luncheon this year to get a tour of the ongoing construction of the Laboratory and Research Center on the second floor and to get updates on other SRAC endeavors underway. Exclusive give-aways are also a part of this luncheon. The luncheon will be catered by the Railhouse restaurant and your RSVP is requested in order to plan seating for this popular event. Please call the Center at 607-565-7960 or email info@sracenter.org to RSVP before October 3. Postcards will also be sent to current and recent members as a reminder.

If you have not re-upped your membership or are not sure if your membership is up-to-date, simply
stop in, call the museum or plan to come early and re-up the day of the event.

Doors open to the public at 1pm.

SRAC’s Dr. DeeAnne Wymer and Dan Caister will present "The 2018 Field Season Findings at The Desisti Site: A Tale of Two Occupations.”  The presentation will illustrate the unique items being excavated at the site this year and what findings have been revealed using scientific carbon dating methods. 

At 2pm past NYSAA President Dr. Bill Engelbrecht will present ” Early Late Woodland Pottery from Northwest Pennsylvania” Current terminology used to describe ceramics in the Northeast presents a challenge for both avocational and professional. In some cases two or more ceramic type descriptions overlap while in other cases type names in different areas describe similar material. Some types describe ceramics used for a long period of time, rendering them poor temporal indicators. Using an attribute approach provides a clearer picture of individual specimens but renders comparison with ceramics from other sites problematic unless they are described using the same system. This presentation describes ceramics from a pre-Iroquoian multi-component site in northwest Pennsylvania using a revised ceramic typology coupled with an attribute approach.

At 3pm, SRAC's David Moyer will present, "Prehistoric and Early Historic Native Landscapes in the Upper Susquehanna Valley." The late prehistory and early history of the Upper Susquehanna Valley has created a unique landscape that has presented many challenges to archaeologists. In the 1300s and 1400s the region boasted a large population of prehistoric farmers. It appears that the valleys were then abandoned until the late 17th and early 18th centuries, when the Susquehanna and Chemung valleys were occupied by Native refugees from other regions displaced  by war and European encroachment. These village communities continued to expand throughout the 18th century until the outbreak of the American Revolution when these settlements were abandoned.

At 4pm, Seneca Native American historian Dick Kane will give a presentation on the cultural history of the Seneca. Mr. Kane will display authentic cultural items and discuss their significance.

At 4pm, the Seneca Dancers will perform, sharing their culture, music, and dance.The Seneca dancers have been a very popular part of SRAC’s Annual event for over a decade.

We invite the public to experience SRAC and what we celebrate every day, our Native American archaeology, prehistory, history and culture - all in one amazing day.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

SRAC NEWS: New SRAC Video!

I wanted to share this video with you and ask that you share the video with your family and friends. We have some pretty exciting things going on at SRAC for the coming year and I hope you will continue to be a part of what we do in our community! Thank you Roger Katchuk at First Tioga Reality.

Link to Video: https://youtu.be/-0M1yMeICGI

Link to our donation page: https://www.gofundme.com/SRACGiving/donate

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

SRAC Welcomes David Moyer to Their Board

David Moyer

The Susquehanna River Archaeological Center (SRAC) in Waverly, NY is honored to announce thelatest addition to their board, David Moyer. David is currently the president of the Chenango Chapter of the New York State Archaeological Association and also serves as director of the Roland B. Hill Memorial Museum of Archaeology in Otego, NY, which is operated by the Upper Susquehanna Chapter, NYSAA. He is a Registered Professional Archaeologist and is owner and principal investigator of Birchwood Archaeological Services, a cultural resources consulting company located in Gilbertsville, NY. David completed his Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from Binghamton University and received an MA in Anthropology from the University of Montana. He also has written several archaeological reports, journal articles and conference papers.

SRAC’s Cofounder and Director Deb Twigg commented, “The addition of David to our board is a very strong signal of our future plans for our organization. Of the 11 board members, 9 members are either historians and/or archaeologists who are highly respected in New York and Pennsylvania. This along with the future addition of our laboratory/research area on our second floor makes me very excited about the ongoing professional fieldwork and research we are planning that literally has not been done in our region before. It all steers us closer and closer to unlocking this area’s prehistoric past that has been confusing researchers for over a century.” Moyer added, “I’m very excited about the opportunity to work with such a wonderful organization. SRAC is truly a unique and special place, and I hope to bring my experience and enthusiasm for our region’s rich archaeological heritage to the board. I look forward to helping support the SRAC’s mission as we move forward in expanding and improving the organization and the ongoing research.”

SRAC is located at 345 Broad Street Waverly, NY and their museum and gift shop are open 1-5pm Tuesdays through Fridays and Saturdays 11-4pm. To learn more about the organization, visit www.SRACenter.org.

Friday, January 5, 2018

SRAC Reaches Mark for Sowinski Research Center Matching Grant Challenge!

(WAVERLY, NY) The Susquehanna River Archaeological Center of Native Indian Studies, (SRAC) has announced that it has recently met the goal set for the “SRAC Barbara Sowinski Matching Grant Initiative.”  The Grant Initiative was put in place by Sowinski in order to try to help the Center raise funds by reaching out to the community and raising $10,000 at which point she would match their funds to make the total fundraiser $20,000.

SRAC Co-founder and director, Deb Twigg stated, "I want to personally thank Barbara Sowinski for the opportunity to take part in the $20,000 matching grant challenge. We made our match thanks to so many of you in the community who gave what you could to get us to our $10,000 mark. It's the community minded folks that volunteer and donate to our communities that have made all of the difference in the survival and success of our small non-profits. Thank You."

The grant was an opportunity for the organization to raise $20,000 for their Center’s second floor renovations that will house a Research Center (laboratory, storage and education area) for the Center. Local philanthropist and SRAC member, Barbara Sowinski decided to offer this fundraising opportunity after visiting the SRAC annual event “DrumBeats Through Time” last month and realizing the importance of the work that SRAC is doing – and especially their need to be able to process and study the results of their ongoing archaeological excavation work in the area.

Twigg continued, "Because of the funds raised, we will be moving forward with our SRAC Research Center on our second floor. If you would like to volunteer to help us move furniture, and do some of the light construction, please contact me. This is a huge step in our evolution and will allow us to do the important research that needs to be done in our area and finally answer the many unanswered questions about the pre-Iroquoian / Proto-Susquehannock cultures of our region." Twigg can be reached for more information by email at dtwigg@SRACenter.org.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Update on the Barbara Sowinki Matching Grant Challenge

I wanted to give all of you an update on the Barbara Sowinski Matching Grant Challenge. As of today we are within reach of our goal and just need a little more help to put us over the top!

We were blessed by having Patty Merril Brunk show up by chance with a car load of laboratory equipment donated by her employer, Midwestern Pet Foods in Waverly, NY.  It was a gift out of nowhere that really had a big effect on our grant status, as Barbara allowed us to take $5,000 of the $10,000 goal for us to reach in six months.



We also were blessed to have all of you who have donated and shared our info with others asking them to donate. Within the first month we have already raised $3,600.00 in cash donations!

So at this point we are at around $7,750 with just  $2,250 to go to make our $10,000 and get ANOTHER $10,000 for making the challenge!  So I am asking you to help us make the push to make a HUGE Christmas present for SRAC and help us get to that $10,000 mark.

Thanks Everybody! I'll keep you updated as we continue this challenge!


Hi everybody! I just wanted to share this important announcement with you that will be in the newspaper in the coming days. Simply put, we have been challenged to come up with $10,000 in order to get another $10,000 (for a total of $20,000) in order to build our second floor space into the research, lab and storage areas that we so desperately need. Up to $5,000 of that $10,000 we need to raise can be "in-kind" donations, that being building supplies, lab furniture and equipment, and other physical items we can use to build or use in our new area. Please spread the word, and try to help us reach this goal. I appreciate all you do!

Donate to the Barbara Sowinski Matching Grant Initiative here:  

(Waverly, NY) The Susquehanna River Archaeological Center of Native Indian Studies, (SRAC) is announcing a funding opportunity for their nonprofit organization, the “SRAC Barbara Sowinski Matching Grant Initiative.” The grant is an opportunity for the organization to raise $20,000 for their Center’s second floor renovations that will house a laboratory, storage and education area for the Center. Local philanthropist and SRAC member, Barbara Sowinski decided to offer this fundraising opportunity after visiting the SRAC annual event “DrumBeats Through Time” last month and realizing the importance of the work that SRAC is doing – and especially their need to be able to process and study the results of their ongoing archaeological excavation work in the area.

For the past two years, SRAC has undertaken the excavation and documentation of a Native American site that dates to around 1050 A.D. in an area that is being impacted by modern land use and construction along the Susquehanna River. In the summer and fall of 2016, individuals came together, guided by professional archaeologists and scholars, to excavate portions of a prehistoric village. Pottery specimens, broken stone implements, traces of food debris, and other snapshots of the original people of this place and space were recovered. Work is now continuing with cataloging and analyzing these materials. However, without the laboratory facilities available at the Center, the work and depth of research available has been hindered.

With the need for laboratory space in mind, Sowinski met with SRAC’s executive director, Deb Twigg recently to discuss her funding offer of a matching grant.  The stipulations of the grant is that Sowinski would personally donate $10,000 to raise a total of $20,000 for the second floor laboratory space for the Center if SRAC can match the offered $10,000 funding. However, if the Center cannot raise $10,000, she would not make a donation towards the project. Twigg explains, “Barbara’s offer of this generous amount is amazing and challenging at the same time. As many of you know we are a small organization with all volunteer staffing and work on a shoestring budget of less than $5,000. At the same time SRAC has undergone huge growth over our first decade and our next step is the laboratory facilities for our Center. We are truly amazed that we now have an opportunity to get funding for this. I can’t thank Barabara Sowinski enough for her continued support, but at the same time cannot stress enough that without the community’s help in raising the first $10,000, none of this will be possible.” Twigg also noted that ‘In-kind” donations such as lab equipment, building supplies, laboratory furniture, and storage equipment can also be used for up to $5,000 of the first $10,000 needed.

Lastly, the grant opportunity has a time limit in which it is available and is no longer available after June 1st, 2018 (6 months). As a result, the public is advised to make their donations as soon as possible to help SRAC reach their goal.  To make a donation to the SRAC Barbara Sowinski Matching Grant Imitative, visit www.SRACenter.org and click the SRAC Giving Campaign or mail or hand deliver your donation to: SRAC, 345 Broad Street, Waverly, NY 14892. All donations are tax deductible as SRAC is a 501C3. If community members have items to donate, please call Deb Twigg at (607)727-3111 or email deb@teaoga.com for more information