To ensure that all of our Archaeology majors get the training that they need to begin their career in our field, we require that they take an archaeology field school. Every other summer, Dr. Kruczek-Aaron or Dr. Messner offers a 4-week field experience in which students learn basic excavation, surveying, and mapping skills in a real world setting.
These field experiences relate to the following two research initiatives:
Timbucto Archaeology Project
Students under the direction of archaeologist Dr. Hadley Kruczek-Aaron have been participating in excavations on sites associated with Timbucto, a mid-19th-century settlement of African American farmers who moved to the Adirondacks to be a part of a reform project aimed at getting Black New Yorkers access to the ballot. Fieldwork has focused on finding sites where these farmers lived, worked, and partnered with others to shape a more just future. The research, which counters racist claims made about the settlement by past historians/observers, aims to document everyday life at Timbucto and reveal how the settlers responded to the challenges presented by their environment.
Adirondack Archaeology and Heritage Project
Students under the direction of archaeologist Dr. Tim Messner have been excavating sites across the Adirondacks in order to critically examine the belief that the region was too remote, cold, and unproductive to support human occupation in the ancient past. The students’ work has revealed the presence of an Archaic Period (~5000-7000 year-old) occupation, and artifacts like scrapers, pottery, drills, projectile points, and animal bone showed that people performed a variety of tasks on a range of sites in the area. For example, the stone materials suggest that people carried tools from the lowlands and refashioned their equipment from locally available cobble resources. While artifacts recovered await
further analysis, preliminary results suggest that the Adirondacks have a more complex history than is commonly put forth.