Saturday, April 15, 2017

“2016 Excavations at the DeSisti Site (36BR20)” Presented at Society of Pennsylvania Archaeology Meeting by SRAC's Board Members

(WAVERLY, NY) The Susquehanna River Archaeological Center (SRAC) located at 345 Broad Street in Waverly, NY is very pleased to announce the first formal professional presentation of the results of the 2016 SRAC DeSisti Site Excavations at the 2017 The Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology (SPA) 88th Annual Meeting recently.  SRAC’s board members Dan Caister and Dr. DeeAnne Wymer presented the research poster “2016 Excavations at the DeSisti Site (36BR20)” (authored by SRAC’s Dan Caister, DeeAnne Wymer, Tom Vallilee, and Don Hunt) to the combined avocational and professional archaeology association on Saturday, April 8 in Harrisburg.  This annual meeting is the most important state-wide event that brings together members of the SPA (both avocational and professional archaeologists) and is combined as well with the annual meeting for the professional archaeologists’ Pennsylvania Archaeology Council (PAC).  The event took place over Friday, Saturday, and Sunday morning and consisted of a series of formal presentations by individuals, research posters in the book room on Saturday, primitive games contests, and a Saturday evening banquet with guest lecture highlighting the meeting.

Somewhere around 30 presentations were given and subjects ranged from historic sites, application of new remote sensing technologies, battlefield archaeology, rockshelter materials, Paleoindian sites, to early Susquehannock language studies. The conference was hosted by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (state museum) and representatives from the state museum, PennDot, ‘contract archaeology’ firms, many different colleges and universities, and various SPA chapters were present.  This was a warm and welcoming group and little attention was paid to the “line” between professional and avocational – but simply included individuals passionate about their archaeology and historic resources and the story of their regions.

The SRAC research poster summarized and visually presented the overall excavation methods, the pit features we uncovered and documented, and a nice summation of the number and type of artifacts that were discovered during the excavations.  This was also the first opportunity to reveal our radiocarbon dates to a larger, and quite interested, audience.  In addition, Dan also brought to the conference several of the very nice larger decorated pottery rim sherds and stone specimens to display on our poster table and it was informative and great fun to listen to a goodly number of archaeologists trying to figure out exactly what pottery type and period our specimens represented.  “It was very gratifying to hear people with years of experience in Pennsylvania archaeology making suggestions for continuing our research and offering to provide technical support,” Caister said.  The original research poster can be viewed at SRAC and we must once again note that none of this could have been possible without the generosity of the DeSisti family and our many volunteers.

SRAC is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the education, research and preservation of the Native American studies in the region along the northern branch of the Susquehanna River and has many artifacts discovered from the first year excavation work at the Desisti site on display in their museum which is free to visit Tuesdays through Fridays 1-5pm and Saturdays 11-4pm.