Friday, June 25, 2010

SRAC's New TV Commercial!

In the very near future - those of you that get channel 12 WBNGTV will be seeing SRAC's new TV commercial - - We have also loaded it up on YouTube so you can play it right here!- -Please share!


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Sunday, June 20, 2010

SRAC Events - July 2010

Don't miss out on all of the fun at SRAC this summer. From the SRAC Exhibit Hall full of thousands of local Native American artifacts to the new Woolly Mammoth Exhibit to great events that are fun for all ages - SRAC has something for everyone to enjoy!

Upcoming events include:

Northeastern PA Paranormal Team - "The Gettysburg Reveal"
When: Sat, June 26, 6:30pm – 7:30pm
Where: SRAC 345 Broad Street, Waverly, NY (map)
Description: The NEPA Paranormal team will be at SRAC to discuss their most active site to date - Gettysburg. Known by many for it's historic value, Gettysburg is gaining new popularity by paranormal groups across the country. The team will present their findings and also allow two lucky ticket holders at the event to accompany the NEPA team on an upcoming paranormal investigation! Admission is $6 per adult, $5 for SRAC members and students. Get your tickets ealy for this one if you want by stopping in SRAC during normal business hours. Admission includes entrance to the SRAC exhibit hall.

History's Mysteries - Discovery Mountain, David G.
When: Tue, July 6, 6:30pm – 7:30pm
Where: SRAC - 345 Broad Street Waverly, NY
Description: This presentation will provide evidence for the recent discovery of a previously undocumented and relatively intact possible archaeoastronomy site in northeastern Pennsylvania which appears to be several thousand years old. The core of current work at the site involves four ten-to-twenty-ton zoomorphic boulders arranged in a meadow in a way that seasonal events are clearly marked by the position of the sun. Preliminary research theorizes a date of original construction as early as 1825 BCE with more recent modifications done in 125 BCE. Could it be that early native people constructed such a site, or is pre-Columbian trans-Atlantic exploration a possibility? Or is this the random work of a glacier? Come join in the discussion. Presentation will also include a detailed slide-show of the boulders and the work behind the research as well as some spectacular photos of solstice and equinox events. Ongoing research into the site will also be discussed including the possible remains of a nearby stone chamber connected to summer solstice, nearby cairns, as well as more recent woodland Native American use of the area. Admission is $5 per adult, $4 for SRAC members and students. Admission includes entrance to the SRAC exhibit hall.

Workshop: Native American Style Bone Bead Choker - Ellen Sisco
When: Sat, July 10, 1pm – 3pm
Where: SRAC- 345 Broad Street Waverly, NY
Description: Create Your Own Native American style Bone Bead Choker The workshop would include instruction about the history and use of these necklaces, and the origin of the "hair-pipe" beads. There will be several sample styles, colors and layouts available to provide guidance or too stimulate the participant to create their own design, for which there would be ample opportunity. Instructor will provide all bone beads, horn beads, glass beads, stringing supplies, templates, leather ends and deerskin strings for each project, as will as a demonstration of the process of making the project. She will also provide a number of adornments (eg. stone or shell, and charms of many sorts) for each project. The participation fee would be $23.00. There will be sufficient supplies should anyone wish to complete additional projects either during the program or at home after the program, for which there would be a nominal charge of $6.00 & cost of charm. Participants will learn a brief history of Hair pipe Beads and their uses; how to design and lay out the components of a choker; how to assemble and complete a choker. Class Fee: $23.00 Instructor: Ellen Sisco Email info@sracenter.org to enroll for this class today!

Andaste Chapter of PA Archaeology Presents: The Orange County Mastadon, by Gary Keeton, New York State Archaeology Member
When: Sat, July 10, 2pm – 3pm
Where: SRAC- 345 Broad Street Waverly, NY (map)
Description: The discovery of a 9-foot-long mastodon tusk in Orange County, NY will provide scientists with a new source of information about the prehistoric animal, according to the men who found and helped exhume it. Naturalist Gary Keeton, will talk about the discovery from 2009 in detail. The tusk, the longest ever found in New York, is expected to provide clues about the animal's age, its eating and travel habits, and the geography of our region some 13,000 years ago. Admission: Adults - $4, Students and seniors $3, Andaste Chapter and SRAC members free.

Workshop: Make Your Own Semi-Precious Jewelry with Ellen Sisco
When: Sat, July 24, 1pm – 3pm
Where: SRAC- 345 Broad Street Waverly, NY
Description: Make Your Own Semiprecious Stone Jewelry with Ellen Sisco This workshop will provide instruction in bead stringing and earring-making for participants. Instruction will begin with an explanation and demonstration of the various types of stringing techniques, as well as the various styles of earrings available to be made. Participants would have the opportunity to make a necklace and matching earrings of their choice from the wide variety of stone and glass beads which will be made available. They will be provided with the correct materials with which to construct their jewelry, and all the findings (clasps, earring parts, etc.) with which to complete them. They will be shown some sample designs, and encouraged to use their own likes and dislikes in choosing a design, colors, styles, and shapes of the beads they use to make up to a 24" necklace and matching earrings. The cost of this presentation's materials fee is $25.00. Instructor: Ellen Sisco Email info@sracenter.org to enroll for this class today!

Barclay Mountain by Matt Carl - Bradford County Historical Society
When: Tue, August 3, 6:30pm – 7:30pm
Where: SRAC - 345 Broad Street Waverly, NY
Description: "Old Barclay: A History of Coal Mining on Barclay Mountain" "Old Barclay: A History of Coal Mining on Barclay Mountain" reviews the story of Barclay Mountain's now deserted coal mining settlements, including Barclay, Fall Creek, Dublin, Graydon, Foot of Plane, Carbon Run, and Long Valley. The old methods of coal mining are described and the development of the incline plane, railroad, and canal system are also briefly discussed. Matthew Carl is Manager/Curator at the Bradford County Historical Society. Admission is $5 per adult, $4 for SRAC members and students. Admission includes entrance to the SRAC exhibit hall.

Stay tuned for additional events throughout the summer!(SRAC Events Calendar)

Don't forget - SRAC members attend all SRAC exhibits for FREE every day and kids who take the SRAC Exhibit Hall Quiz win a free prize! Join today!

Hours of Operation: Tuesdays - Fridays 1 - 5pm, Saturdays 11- 4pm

SRAC is a nonprofit organization and is staffed 100% by volunteers. Please consider supporting our efforts in whatever way you can!

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Mace - and the Duck River Cache

Kevin Sampson from the Dickson Mound Museum whom I contacted about the mace that a private collector has brought into SRAC (read about it here) - has referred me to a cache of maces and other blades that was found in Humphreys County, Tennessee which was said at that time to be the greatest single archaeological find ever made in the United States. "This discovery,----was later to become known as the "Duck River Cache----."---1981, H. C. Brehm, "The History Of The Duck River Cache," Miscellaneous Paper No. 6, Tennessee Anthropological Association, p. 1.

Interestingly, I do have a witness report from the same site where the mace was found in our area of someone finding one of the crescent blades with the handles as well a few years ago... (it was promptly sold....) - Truthfully, I didn't know what the blade he described to me really looked like until I looked at the following image...



It is not beyond the realm of possibilities that like other caches found in our area of Flint Ridge Ohio flint, rhyolite, cherts, , etc that we might also find the mace to be evidence of trade of these types of items as well.

The next logical step I think is the lithic material that our mace was made from. This will identify the quarry and location of the source, helping us to understand if the mace that was found in our area came from NY or as far away as Tennessee...

The Duck River Temple Mounds Cache
More than eight centuries ago a Native American town flourished atop the steep bluff overlooking the confluence of Sycamore Creek, Buffalo River, and Duck River in Humphreys County. By A.D. 1150 this prosperous town was the political, economic, and religious center for villagers and farmers throughout the Lower Tennessee River valley. This ancient settlement, prominent throughout eastern North America as a center of prehistoric trade, declined and disappeared by A.D. 1500.

In 1894 digging at this town produced the Duck River Cache, perhaps the most spectacular single collection of prehistoric Native American art ever discovered in the eastern United States. The cache included two human statues representing the community's ancestral founding couple along with nearly four dozen ceremonial stone knives, daggers, swords, maces, and other striking examples of prehistoric stonework. As sacred symbols of leadership, these objects were similar, in many ways, to the crowns of European monarchs.

Eastern Native American chiefs valued the ceremonial weapons manufactured by Duck River artisans. Items created by these master stoneworkers have been excavated at Toqua in East Tennessee, Etowah in Georgia, Moundville in Alabama, Kincaid in Illinois, and Spiro in Oklahoma. Today, the products of those artisans are the centerpieces of major museums throughout the eastern United States. The Duck River Cache is on permanent display at the McClung Museum in Knoxville. In 1974 the State of Tennessee purchased the ninety-acre core of this remarkable Native American town to preserve what remains of one of the most significant and impressive Native American civilizations of prehistoric Tennessee.

Kevin E. Smith, Middle Tennessee State University

Suggested Reading(s): H. C. Brehm, ed., The Duck River Cache: Tennessee's Great Archaeological Find (1984) and The History of the Duck River Cache (Miscellaneous Paper No. 6, Tennessee Anthropological Association, Knoxville).

See Also: HUMPHREYS COUNTY; MISSISSIPPIAN CULTURE; PREHISTORIC NATIVE AMERICAN ART

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Need Info: Ceremonial Scepter/Mace Found in NY

This artifact was found in New York state, supposedly within 10 miles or so of SRAC, and by a private local collector. It is approximately 3.5 inches wide and 7.5 inches long, and has a red stain along it's upper right edge. It clearly has a shape not unlike ceremonial maces found at Mississippian Mound sites. Some notable maces like the one found here can be seen below:

Supposedly identifying a person of high status and a possible axe used in sacrificial ceremonies, these items are very rare and for that reason, we are trying to find out as much as we can about it. This may seem easy, but the truth is that no Mississippian sites have been identified in our region...so we have no specialists in our region for this artifact to help us.

Both the owner and SRAC agree that it is very important for us to find this artifact (which quite possibly might be the most significant piece of archaeological evidence found in our region in quite some time -) some serious scientific review asap.

As a result, I am posting this information in hopes that I may get some feedback about any other maces being found in NYS, what the lithic material could be (Normanskill chert?) and any ideas on getting this researched by a university or professional who has a background in the Mississippian culture or this type of artifact.

We can get you access to the piece upon request if you are a serious inquirer who would like to help us.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Archaeologist publishes so-called first complete look at technology of Clovis culture

As many of you may already know- many of our artifacts at SRAC have no real explanation because they simply date too far back in time to be remembered what their use was for and are constantly discussed and theorized about.

The picture shown here is called a "Clovis" point, and it is believed to be the earliest point that can be found in North America. It was found in Milan, PA. These points have been found in the remains of woolly mammoths at many sites, but to date, none have been found like this in PA. Yet when the mammoth was excavated at Spring Lake, in Bradford County, PA - (what our mammoth exhibit is based on) - the archaeologists took special care to look for these points and any other man made tools, to no avail.

Because of this, I wanted to let everyone know that the San Marcos (Texas) Daily Record reports that, "A new book on the stone and bone tool technologies of Clovis culture of 13,500 years ago, published by faculty at Texas State University, is the first complete examination of the tools themselves of the Clovis culture used them and transmitted their production.

The book, “Clovis Technology (International Monographs in Prehistory, Archaeological Series 17),” covers the Clovis culture's making and use of stone blades, bi-faces and small tools as well as artifacts such as projectile points, rods, daggers, awls, needles, handles, hooks and ornaments made from bone, ivory, antler and teeth.

It examines the tools used to make other tools, such as billets, wrenches, gravers and anvils, and explores how Clovis culture acquired and transmitted stone tool production."

They also go on to say that "recent discoveries at Gault and elsewhere, of stone and bone artifacts predating Clovis, have convinced most archaeologists that a culture existed in the Americas at least 500 to 1,000 years before Clovis..." which is contradictory to many of the common beliefs today that state that the Clovis were the earliest (Paleo) man in North America.

It seems that at least parts of our earliest prehistory including the era and demise of the woolly mammoths are still not written stone. This all to me is what makes it an interesting time for SRAC and our mission.

To read the full article from the Daily Record - click here.