Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Books and Maps Donated to SRAC

June Smith-Williams (left) and SRAC's Janet Andrus
hold one of the books recently donated to SRAC

SRAC wants to thank June Smith-Williams who recently donated a great book and map collection to us. The books were donated in loving memory of June's father - Alden Harold Smith (1914 - 2010) of Beaver Dams, NY who loved books especially about the American West. He also collected arrowheads and Indian artifacts, many that he found when he plowed the family's farm fields as a boy with his horse drawn plow.

Many of the books have been added to the SRAC book lending library that is available for current members to sign out. The library currently has books for kids and adults and range from many topics to include geology, archaeology, history and even fossils and sea shells.


Saturday, May 26, 2012

Donate an Item to Our Tag Sale

We need your help!

SRAC is looking for donations of items large and small for a tag sale to take place on Thursday, June 14th, with a rain date of Friday, June 15th.

We are looking for household items, furniture, antiques, computers, appliances that we can sell to help fund our efforts at SRAC.

SRAC is dedicated to education, research and preservation of the region's archaeological and historical assets for the communities within the Twin Tier Region of Southeastern NY and Northeastern PA. We are ALL volunteers and ask you to consider finding something to donate to this tag sale to help us keep our doors open for years to come.

SRAC is located at 345 Broad Street in Waverly, NY and committed to ensuring the collections left to the Center will remain safe, stay local, and be recognized as the collection of the donator for all time. SRAC is a charitable organization , (501c3) and cash and non cash donations may be deductible for the year in which they were donated. To learn more, visit http://www.sracenter.org/Donations/

Contact all Deb Twigg at dtwigg@sracenter.org or 607-727-3111 for more information!


Authentic Revolutionary War Artifacts to be On Display at Talk on June 5th



A Continental Soldier Under George Washington
Tuesday,  June 5th,  6:30pm – 7:30pm at SRAC,
345 Broad Street Waverly, NY

George Cummings will present “A Day in the Life of a Continental Soldier Under George Washington” – Cummings is a Windsor historian with the main focus on the Sullivan-Clinton Campaign. He will present this hands on presentation in a Continental soldier uniform and have two large tables of authentic accouterments on display.

An admission donation of $6 for adults, $4 for SRAC members (free admission for students!) is requested. Free admission to the SRAC exhibit hall is included in this donation. For more information, visit www.SRACenter.org , email info@SRAcenter.org, or call the Center at 607-565-7960.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Study reveals trade patterns for crucial substance played key role in Maya collapse

Shifts in exchange patterns provide a new perspective on the fall of inland Maya centers in Mesoamerica approximately 1,000 years ago. This major historical process, sometimes referred to as the "Maya collapse" has puzzled archaeologists, history buffs, and the news media for decades. The new research was published online today in the journal Antiquity.

"Our research strongly suggests that changing patterns of trade were instrumental in prompting the 'Maya collapse,'" said Gary Feinman, curator of anthropology at The Field Museum, which collaborated with the University of Illinois at Chicago on the study.

The new research casts doubt on the idea that climate change was the sole or principal cause, Feinman said, noting that some Maya centers, which flourished after the collapse, were located in the driest parts of the Maya region. Feinman said that climate change, along with breakdowns in leadership, warfare, and other factors, contributed to the collapse, but the shifting exchange networks may have been a key factor.

For the Maya, who did not have metal tools, obsidian (or volcanic glass) was highly valued because of its sharp edges for use as cutting instruments. Maya lords and other elites derived power from controlling access to obsidian, which could be traded for important goods or sent as gifts to foster important relationships with other Mayan leaders.

The Field Museum researchers found that prior to the fall of the Maya inland centers, obsidian tended to flow along inland riverine networks. But over time, this material began to be transported through coastal trade networks instead, with a corresponding increase in coastal centers' prominence as inland centers declined.

The shift in trade might have involved more than obsidian. Field researcher Mark Golitko said, "The implication is that other valuable goods important to these inland centers were also slowly being cut off." Golitko led the Social Network Analysis that graphically depicts the change in trade patterns.

Researchers compiled information on obsidian collected at Maya sites, and used chemical analysis to identify the source(s) that produced obsidian found through archaeological studies at each location. Obsidian from three sources in Guatemala and several sources in central Mexico and Honduras were identified. The researchers generated data for each of four time periods: Classic (approximately 250-800 AD),

Terminal classic (approximately 800-1050 AD), Early Postclassic (approximately 1050-1300 AD), and Late Postclassic (approximately 1300-1520AD). Using Social Network Analysis (SNA) software, the researchers developed maps illustrating which sites had the same or similar percentages of each type of obsidian, in each of the four time periods. These percentages were then utilized to infer the likely network structure through which obsidian was transported

A comparison of the resulting SNA maps show that Classic period networks were located in inland, lowland areas along rivers, mostly in what is today the northern part of Guatemala, the Mexican state of Chiapas, the southern Yucatan, and western Belize. However, maps bearing data from later time periods show that inland networks diminished in importance and coastal networks were thriving, in what today is the northern Yucatan and coastal Belize.

The SNA data "is a very visual way to let us infer the general layout of the networks that transported obsidian, and the likely paths it took," Golitko said.

Feinman termed the study results significant. "The use of SNA to display and analyze the obsidian data graphically gives us a new perspective on these data, some of which has been present for years."

The study did not explore the question of why the transport networks began to shift. Feinman said there may have been military animosities that made the inland, river routes less safe or easy to use, and added that during this period the seagoing transport may have become more efficient with larger canoes. He noted that scientists simply don't have the definitive answers to some of these questions.

Does this study provide lessons for modern-day civilizations? Not directly, Golitko said. However, he believes it does suggest that major impacts follow when large-scale social and economic networks or communication channels break down. The consequences of the breakdown of obsidian supply to parts of the Maya region, he said, is a lesson for the increasingly connected world in which we live today.
###

The Field Museum gratefully acknowledges the National Science Foundation for its generous support to this research project.

Article Source: Eurekalert.com
Research Source:
Contact: Nancy O'Shea
noshea@fieldmuseum.org
312-665-7103
Field Museum

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

SRAC is looking for items for a tag sale

Call it a late spring cleaning - or call it just a good thing to do for your community!  SRAC is looking for donations of items large and small for an outdoor tag sale o take place on Thursday, June 14th, with a rain date of Friday, June 15th.

 So now you have incentive to clean out your attic, cellar and garage !
You can do it for a great cause!

...We will also be doing another tag sale/auction later this summer too.

SRAC is dedicated to education, research and preservation of the region's archaeological and historical assets for the communities within the Twin Tier Region of Southeastern NY and Northeastern PA.

SRAC is located at 345 Broad Street in Waverly, NY and committed to ensuring the collections left to the Center will remain safe, stay local, and be recognized as the collection of the donator for all time. SRAC is a charitable organization , (501c3) and cash and non cash donations may be deductible for the year in which they were donated. To learn more, visit http://www.sracenter.org/Donations/

Contact all Deb Twigg at dtwigg@sracenter.org or 607-727-3111 for more information!


A Continental Soldier Story under Gen. Washington, June 5th



A Continental Soldier Under George Washington
Tuesday,  June 5th,  6:30pm – 7:30pm at SRAC,
345 Broad Street Waverly, NY

George Cummings will present “A Day in the Life of a Continental Soldier Under George Washington” – Cummings is a Windsor historian with the main focus on the Sullivan-Clinton Campaign. He will present this hands on presentation in a Continental soldier uniform and have two large tables of authentic accouterments on display.

An admission donation of $6 for adults, $4 for SRAC members (free admission for students!) is requested. Free admission to the SRAC exhibit hall is included in this donation. For more information, visit www.SRACenter.org , email info@SRAcenter.org, or call the Center at 607-565-7960.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Gerry and Linda Corbin Donate Fossils to SRAC

Sayre native Gerry Corbin with fossils he recently donated
(WAVERLY, NY) The Susquehanna River Archaeological Center (SRAC) reports that Sayre natives Gerry and Linda Corbin recently donated two fossils to add to their ever growing exhibit of fossils and sea life.

One of the donations is a fossilized fish embedded in limestone. These herring-like fish flourished during Eocene time, about 50 million years ago, in three vast freshwater lakes. They are unusually well preserved in laminated limestone precipitated from calcium-rich waters. The limestone is interbedded with many thin layers of volcanic ash and mudstone.

The second fossil is much more rare and is of a well-preserved example of an Inadunate Cladid crinoid known as Cyathocrinites (Family Cyathocrinitidae). Its serially branching arms formed a most effective basket for filtering out the minute particles upon which it fed. This one has an attached stem, making it a more desirable example than many seen. Crinoids are a group of sea creatures that are still alive today. The majority of crinoids attach themselves to the sea-floor, and have a long, flexible 'stem', with a crown of tentacles at the top. Although crinoids look like plants (which is why they are also known as sea-lilies), they are animals that feed on tiny creatures (plankton). It lived around 350 million years ago in the geological time period known as the Lower Mississippian Osagean Stage.

Fossil (Cyathocrinites) donated to SRAC
The two fossils will be known as the "SRAC/Corbin Collection" and will be on display with a picture of Gerry Corbin for future visitors to enjoy. SRAC is dedicated to education, research and preservation of the region's archaeological and historical assets for the communities within the Twin Tier Region of Southeastern NY and Northeastern PA. To learn more about donating items to SRAC, visit http://www.sracenter.org/Donations/#collection 

SRAC is located at 345 Broad Street in Waverly, NY and committed to ensuring the collections left to the Center will remain safe, stay local, and be recognized as the collection of the donator for all time. SRAC is a charitable organization , (501c3) and cash and non cash donations may be deductible for the year in which they were donated. To learn more, visit http://www.sracenter.org/Donations/




Friday, May 11, 2012

Weird Skull Sculpture at SRAC

Today I made Tom go on a trip as the result of a story I heard this morning about a "stone skull" that was owned by a local person. This afternoon we ended up at John Mann's house and in the end - asked him loan the weird artifact to SRAC, since he told us that he has just had it sitting on his back porch railing as a conversation piece...

John explained to us that he dug it up under 5 feet of soil in Athens, PA (near the Athens bridge area and on the west side is the general area - sorry I cannot be more specific for obvious reasons!) He found it around 15 years ago and he says it just dropped out of the bank he was digging. (I was told by someone else that he used to carry it around in his truck and even had a name like "George" for it!)

Because it is a rock - it is VERY HARD to figure out how old it is, who made it, or who put it there; but I think people will love being able to see it. For that reason - John agreed to let us place it on display in the SRAC exhibit hall while I have some emails out to some specialists to try to help us figure it out. But you can stop in and see it for yourself and tell us what you think too! (We are open 1- 5pm Tuesdays thru Fridays and 11-5pm Saturdays!)

Here are some pictures - - but they don't do it justice:







Thank you John Mann for allowing the community to enjoy this wonderful piece for a while!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Feedback from the recent 4th grade field trip

One of my personal favorite things at SRAC is getting to read the feedback from the kids after a field trip...

Here are the notes we received from the Sayre fourth grade - Click on any image to enlarge them!

Enjoy!

 


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Incredible Prints on Sale on Ebay by SRAC

SRAC members Joe and Marilyn Pierson had some wonderful Native American prints that they wanted to sell on commission in SRAC's Gift Shop - But I asked them if we could instead try to sell them on eBay at their very reasonable asking price! So click on the image of the print you want to see up close and place a bid and support SRAC at the same time!

**Feel free to stop in SRAC to see these prints during our regular business hours - 1-5 Tuesdays thru Fridays and 11-5 Saturdays!

"The Native Woodland Hunter" - Fred Threlfall
"Final Instructions" -by Robert Griffing

"Crow Twilight" Pastel by Elizabeth Lawrence
Three Print Series - "Slow Turtle", Two Rivers" and "Little Whirlwind" by Ken Schmidt
"Susquehannock Hunter" by Rob Stine
"Cayuga Watcher" by Geoffrey Harding

Friday, May 4, 2012

Sayre's 4th Graders Take a Trip Back in Time at SRAC


Sayre's 4th graders gaze at the woolly mammoth remains
(Waverly, NY) All of the 4th graders from H. Austin Snyder Elementary school in Sayre, PA took a trip back in time at their recent field trip to the Susquehanna River Archaeological Center (SRAC) in Waverly, NY.

The 4th grade curriculum for PA and NY includes the studies of Native American history and cultures and for that reason has become the time when most local school students attend a free field trip to SRAC. The Sayre field trip this year was filled with new information and things to see and touch around every corner.

Dick Cowles explains early trade in our region
The students rotated through 4 stations, "Woolly Mammoths" with Ted Keir, "Early European Trade" with Dick Cowles, "Native American Children's Stories" with Jack Andrus, and a rotation to be able to shop in the SRAC gift shop - each 20 minutes long. Once all of the groups had rotated through each station, they gathered in the SRAC lecture hall where they gathered for the ever popular "Stump the Chumps" contest where one group walked away with special gift bags from SRAC for every student.

Ted Keir explains the life of a woolly mammoth
But the fun didn't end there. Before exiting for their buses, every student was given an actual local artifact called a "net sinker" to keep as a memento from their field trip by SRAC's Ted Keir personally.


SRAC's cofounder, Deb Twigg commented, "This was the 8th year for the school's 4th grade field trip held by SRAC. This year, I have to say that the kids were even more excited than any of the other years before. I want to thank all of the teachers that help make this such a wonderful experience for the kids and our staff every year."

Jack Andrus tells Native American children stories
SRAC is dedicated to education, research and preservation of the region's archaeological and historical assets for the communities within the Twin Tier Region of Southeastern NY and Northeastern PA.

SRAC is located at 345 Broad Street Waverly, NY and is staffed 100% by volunteers and is funded by the revenues they make at the Center, memberships and donations from philanthropic organizations and individuals like you. If you want to support the Center and efforts like these in the community, please consider taking part in the 2012 SRAC Giving Campaign - the funds go directly back into the general expenses to keep the Center alive. For more information, visit www.SRACenter.org.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Canadian “Peace Pipe” (Calumet) Donated to SRAC

George Crowell and Sara Pertinoy proudly show the donated pipe
Wolf effigy face sculpted into the pipe design
 (WAVERLY, NY) George J. Crowell of Athens, PA recently donated a sculpted red stone pipe with wooden stem and adornments, commonly referred to as a “peace pipe” or “calumet,” to the Susquehanna River Archaeological Center (SRAC) in Waverly, NY.

The pipe was purchased at an Indian trading post outside of Ontario, Canada in 1996 by George’s wife, Carol E. Crowell on one of their many family trips. The pipe was donated recently to SRAC in her honor.

George explained, “Carol always had a deep regard for our Native American culture. She grew up outside Valley Forge, PA and then lived in Montana where Indian history was always a part of the local history. She taught our children on our farm to appreciate the Indian values of respecting your elders and to be thankful for the stewardship of our land and the wonder of the great creator.”

SRAC’s cofounder and executive director Deb Twigg added, “We are very excited that George donated the pipe to our Center. It is very unique and really adds to our exhibit in a way that brings the lives of the Native Americans more to life for our visitors.”

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow reminds us of the Native American reverence for the powers of the peace pipe in a poem titled "Hiawatha," claiming that the great creator stated, "Bury your clubs and your weapons, Break the red stone from this quarry, Mould and make it into peace pipes; Take the reeds that grow beside you, Deck them with your brightest feathers; Smoke the calumet together, And as brothers live henceforth."

The pipe is already on display at SRAC and will always be referred to as part of the SRAC/Crowell Collection for future generations to come to enjoy. The Crowell collection is the 20th collection of Native American artifacts donated to SRAC since their incorporation in 2005. SRAC is a nonprofit organization run 100% by volunteers and is located at 345 Broad Street in Waverly, NY. To learn more, or donate to SRAC visit http://www.SRACenter.org or call the Center at (607)565-7960.