Saturday, February 28, 2009
The Susquehanna River Archaeological Center (SRAC) is well known for housing thousands of local Native American artifacts. It also houses many pieces of artwork from well known artists in the region in their gift shop area.
The first of many artists to be highlighted at SRAC is well-known artist Albert White, who is a Mohawk Indian, and has been following the traditions of recordings and sharing the history of his people all of his life. Born in Binghamton he attended San Francisco Art Institute and graduated with honors from the Maryland Institute of Art. In 1975 he joined the American Indian Movement. Through this involvement he has seen and preserved, in paintings and memories, the struggles resulting in the resurgence of Indian pride and prominence.
As an artist his paintings reflect sensitivity and power in wildlife, people, and the land. His artwork has been shown in venues across the country and is in permanent collections of major institutions. He has served as an exhibitor, lecturer and a teacher in many prestigious locations including Harvard University and the Iroquois Indian Museum. Currently, White has ten of his original prints and drawings on exhibit and for sale at the SRAC gift shop.
On Saturday, April 18 from 2-3pm, SRAC will host a special showing of White’s artwork as he presents an hour long demonstration of Native American storytelling , dance, music and children’s games that have all been passed down through the centuries.
SRAC is located at 345 Broad Street, Waverly, NY and is open from 1-5 pm Tuesdays through Fridays and 11am to 4pm every Saturday. Admission for this event is $4 for adults, $3 for SRAC members and students with a special price of $1 for kids under twelve years of age. All attendees will also receive a free pass to the SRAC Exhibit Hall which will be honored before and after the event.
To download SRAC's latest event listing click here.
Monday, February 23, 2009
The earliest people known to be in North America are referred to as the Clovis culture, named after a site in New Mexico where this style of spear point (shown above)was first identified. The clovis points are rarely found in our area and at last count, 7 were known to be found in Bradford County PA. The Clovis culture lived as hunters and gatherers, not having an understanding of agriculture yet. Even more interesting is that their points like the one shown above have been found in skeletal remains of woolly mammoths and other huge creatures that died out around 12,900 years ago. It was until recently presumed that man was the cause of these huge creatures extinction...but now some scientists claim that man as well as the huge beasts all were met with the same demise.
In January of 2009, a very interesting yet brief paper was published that offers a new answer to to the questions surrounding this. Because this is a controversial topic right now for many reasons, I have used references and quotes from reliable sources below for you to learn more.
"Minuscule diamond fragments found in a sediment layer dating from thousands of years ago are bolstering the theory that a catastrophic comet impact wiped out many forms of life in North America, including what are thought to have been the first human settlers of the continent, the so-called Clovis people. The nano-diamonds are buried at a level that corresponds to the beginning 12,900 years ago of the Younger Dryas, a 1,300-year-long cold spell during which North American mammoths, saber-toothed cats, camels and giant sloths became extinct. The Clovis culture of American Indians also appears to have fallen apart during this time." [Reuters]
"Last year a 26-member team from 16 institutions proposed that a cosmic impact event, possibly by multiple airbursts of comets, set off a 1,300-year-long cold spell known as the Younger Dryas, fragmented the prehistoric Clovis culture and led to the extinction of a large range of animals, including mammoths, across North America. The team's paper was published in the Oct. 9, 2007, issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Now, reporting in the Jan. 2 issue of the journal Science, a team led by the University of Oregon's Douglas J. Kennett, a member of the original research team, report finding billions of nanometer-sized diamonds concentrated in sediments -- weighing from about 10 to 2,700 parts per billion -- in the six locations during digs funded by the National Science Foundation.
"The nanodiamonds that we found at all six locations exist only in sediments associated with the Younger Dryas Boundary layers, not above it or below it," said Kennett, a UO archaeologist. "These discoveries provide strong evidence for a cosmic impact event at approximately 12,900 years ago that would have had enormous environmental consequences for plants, animals and humans across North America." (Science Daily)
- Firestone, R. B., et al. 2007 Evidence for an extraterrestrial impact 12,900 years ago that contributed to the megafaunal extinctions and the Younger Dryas cooling. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 104(41):16016-16021. Free download
- Haynes Jr., C. V. 1991 Geoarchaeological and Paleohydrological Evidence for a Clovis-Age Drought in North America and Its Bearing on Extinction. Quaternary Research 35:438-450.
- Haynes, Jr C. V. 2008 Younger Dryas "black mats" and the Rancholabrean termination in North America. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 105(18):6520–6525.
- Kennett, D. J., et al. 2009 Nanodiamonds in the Younger Dryas Boundary Sediment Layer. Science 323:94.
- Quade, Jay, Richard M. Forester, William L. Pratt, and Claire Carter 1998 Black Mats, Spring-Fed Streams, and Late-Glacial-Age Recharge in the Southern Great Basin. Quaternary Research 49(2):129-148.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
SRAC is proud to present so many presentations at 345 Broad Street in Waverly, NY that are meant for all ages to learn more about our region's prehistory and early history by many dynamic speakers and at an affordable price. In fact, some events are free to attend while others include a free admission to the SRAC Exhibit Hall filled with thousands of locally found Native Indian artifacts with admission to the event.
Download the latest SRAC event brochure here - or forward this blog to your friends to share! Hope to see you at SRAC soon!
March 3, 2009 - 6 - 7:30 pm History’s Mysteries! "French Azilum" by Richard Boswell, retired professor, SUNY Binghamton - Azilum, or Asylum, was built just ten miles below Towanda, PA by a group of French exiles in the autumn of 1793. Some of the refugees, because of their loyalty to the King, had left France to escape imprisonment or death at the hands of the Revolution. In the end, more than fifty structures were erected by the refugees in hopes to build a village that could support the population comfortably through the harsh winters. It is believed that even Marie Antoinette, the queen of France, and her two children were trying to escape in order to settle there. Doors open at 5:30 pm. Admission is $4 for adults and $3 for SRAC members and children under 18. Exhibit Hall admission is free to all attendees.
March 16, 2009 - 6:30 - 7:30 pm, "New York's Missing Link: The Sullivan-Clinton Campaign, Then and Now" by Robert Spiegelman, NYS Speaker Bureau - Strikingly, though Sullivan/Clinton has the most historical markers in New York, it has been nearly forgotten. Spiegelman's tour-de-force combines fresh research, dramatic visuals and unique animated maps to answer why. Back from the "memory hole," Sullivan/Clinton becomes an essential lens on New York and American history. Agreeing with David McCullough that making history boring is a "crime," Spiegelman unveils Sullivan/Clinton as high drama with present-day impact. This event is sponsored by the Humanities of New York State and is free to attend.
March 27, 2009 - 6:30 - 7:30 pm "Prehistory of Our Region" by SUNY Public Archaeology Facility Director, Dr. Nina Versaggi - Dr. Versaggi has authored numerous articles on the prehistory of New York State and it’s archaeology. Versaggi will discuss the earliest humans that lived in our region and what their life looked like. An interesting discussion that will give the audience a better understanding of the people who used many of the items found in the SRAC Exhibit Hall. Doors open at 6 pm. Admission is $4 for adults and $3 for SRAC members and children under 18. Exhibit Hall admission is free to all attendees.
April 7, 2009 - 6:30 - 7:30 pm History’s Mysteries! - “Stone Tools.” Jack Rowe - Jack will present the basics of ancient tool making. From flint napping to cordage making, this demonstration will answer many questions about how many artifacts were made and what they were probably used for. Rowe has become quite well known for his experience in ancient technologies by actually making and using many artifacts that are seen in the SRAC Exhibit Hall. Doors open at 6 pm. Admission is $4 for adults and $3 for SRAC members and children under 18. Exhibit Hall admission is free to all attendees.
April 14, 2009 - 6:30 - 7:30 “Introduction to Rocks and Minerals (Geology 101) - by Marty Borko What are the sediments that led to the bedrock, including the Marcellus Shale, in the Twin Tiers? Where did the sediment come from and how was the rock formed? How has our surface geology been transformed by glaciations? Answers to these questions will be answered in a slide supported program on April 14. Marty Borko is a retired Professor of Biology and Natural History having last served as Chair of the Biology Department at Orange County Community College; retiring after 35 years of service. Admission is $4 for adults and $3 for SRAC members and children under 18. Exhibit Hall admission is free to all attendees.
May 2, 2009 - 2pm – 4 pm History’s Mysteries “A Double Feature!” By Stan Vanderlaan SRAC member and member of NYS Archaeology - Stanley Vanderlaan of Albion, NY presents two sites that he worked on over decades of his life. The Arc site which is a Paleo site (12 - 15,000 yrs old) represents a time when man still hunted the great beasts such as the woolly mammoth. Artifacts will be on display from this hugely important site. The BTC (Buffalo Tournament) site is a much later site that was discovered when work began for a golf course in the town of Lancaster in Erie County, NY. In the end, this site was 4.5 acres, yet amazingly, no human remains were ever encountered. Admission: Adults $3, Students and SRAC members $2.Doors open at 1pm and admission to the exhibit hall filled with thousands of local Native American artifacts is included in the admission price.
Friday, February 20, 2009
New York's Missing Link: The Sullivan-Clinton Campaign, Then and Now
by Robert Spiegelman
At SRAC, 345 Broad Street, Waverly, NY
Monday, March 16, 6:30 - 7:30 PM
Revolutionary New York's epic Indian War has the most official state historical markers, but is otherwise barely remembered. This multimedia lecture shows why...
During America's Revolution, George Washington orders Generals Sullivan and Clinton to launch the biggest operation to date against sovereign peoples in North American history. Most Iroquois are uprooted from their homelands, making way for the Erie Canal and Westward Expansion. Strikingly, though Sullivan/Clinton has the most historical markers in New York, it has been nearly forgotten. Spiegelman's tour-de-force combines fresh research, dramatic visuals and unique animated maps to answer why. It introduces the Campaign's dark origins, key players, main events, tragic and victorious aftermaths, and lasting results. Beyond the military operation, he shows its impact on native culture, the land and today's environment. Back from the "memory hole," Sullivan/Clinton becomes an essential lens on New York and American history. Agreeing with David McCullough that making history boring is a "crime," Spiegelman unveils Sullivan/Clinton as high drama with present-day impact.
This lecture is free to attend and is a part of the New York State Speakers in the Humanities program.
Doors open at 6pm.
Want to know about all of the upcoming events at SRAC? Visit http://www.SRACenter.org/Events
Friday, February 13, 2009
Today is yet another one of those celebrations as SRAC has been represented as the lead article for the NYSAA (New York State Archaeology Association) quarterly newsletter. The NYSAA is a non-profit organization composed of people interested in various phases of archaeology in New York State. Founded in 1916 and chartered in 1927 by the Board of Regents of the State of New York, NYSAA is a nonprofit organization composed of 15 chapters and a world-wide membership-at-large.
We consider this an honor to be represented by the NYSAA and hope that our readers feel the same pride that we do in sharing this latest news.
I want to thank William E. Engelbrecht, N.Y.S.A.A. President, for inviting me to write the article to introduce SRAC to his organization. Although many of us are members of the NYSAA, I am sure there were many NYSAA readers that for one reason or another have not learned of us yet. What a wonderful opportunity we were given to do so.
Click Here to download your copy today:
If you would like to join the NYSAA click here:
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Azilum, or Asylum, was appropriately named, for it provided a natural setting of undisturbed calm and pastoral serenity ten miles below Towanda, PA for a group of French exiles in the autumn of 1793. Some of the refugees, because of their loyalty to the King, had left France to escape imprisonment or death at the hands of the Revolution. More than fifty structures were erected by the refugees during that time in hopes to erect a village that could survive and support the population of exiles.
It is believed by some that even Marie Antoinette, the queen of France, and her two children were trying to escape in order to settle in this rather large village that is all but gone today.
Mr. Boswell taught French language and civilization nigh on forty years at Binghamton U. and has been retired for a few years. He enjoys history, primarily American, French, and British, and especially ways in which they interlock. He has studied French Azilum for a number of years recently created the program for public consumption.
The program is chock full of information concerning this site and is one and a half hours long to include the Q & A session. SRAC is located at 345 Broad Street in Waverly, NY. Admission prices: Adults - $4, Students and SRAC members -$3. Doors open at 5:30pm.
Saturday, February 7, 2009
Waverly, NY - Recently Valerie Sinsabaugh contacted the Susquehanna River Archaeological Center (SRAC.) Her parents, Stan and Barbara Janiak, past residents of the Valley now living in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina heard about SRAC and wanted to return their artifact collection to the area. The collection included 4 cases of arrow and spear points and 2 cases with hard to find glass trade beads, some from as early as the 17th century.
SRAC’s Executive Director, Deb Twigg stated, “The Janiak collection is a wonderful addition to the SRAC and it is the tenth local collection that we have received since our inception. While we have received much larger collections in the past, this collection is special specifically because of the glass trade beads that are very hard to find these days. I want to thank the Janiak family again for donating these wonderful artifacts because many people would have sold them for a lot of money instead of considering their worth as it relates to our history.”
The SRAC/Janiak Collection is already on display in the SRAC Exhibit Hall, which is located at 345 Broad St., Waverly, NY and is open from 1-5 pm Tuesday through Friday and 11am – 4pm on Saturday.
To learn more about SRAC visit www.SRACenter.org, call (607)565-7960 or email info@SRACenter.org.