Skip to comments.Army archaeologists discovering history at Fort Drum Source
Posted on 12/16/2005 10:19:25 AM PST by robowombat
Army archaeologists discovering history at Fort Drum Source: AP (12-10-05)
Building for the future at the U.S. Army's Fort Drum is helping unveil the past. The newest discovery at the northern New York Army post is a prehistoric boat-building site near what would have been the shoreline of Glacial Lake Iroquois.
A team of Fort Drum archaeologists surveying a wooded hillside near where the Army is putting a new National Guard training site unearthed an unusual looking stone tool. With the help of a U.S. Marine archaeologist, the team was able to identify it as a triangular-pointed reamer, a typical prehistoric boat-building tool. They also found a punch and other three-dimensional blade tools.
The discovery was made half way down on a sloping wooded hillside that ended with a sharp 100-foot plunge.
"At that time, it would have been a bay or inlet. It would have been a perfect beach for building and launching boats," said Dr. Laurie Rush, Fort Drum's chief archaeologist.
With the help of other experts, Rush has estimated the site is about 11,000 years old _ about the time Indians first arrived in what is now upstate New York.
Rush has found two other sites to strengthen the theory of a prehistoric maritime culture in upstate New York. Two hills _ once islands in Lake Iroquois _ have also yielded stone boat-building tools. Rush will present her findings on the islands in the spring at an annual archaeology conference.
Rush works as the Army's cultural resources program manager at Fort Drum, a sprawling 107,000-acre installation near the U.S.-Canadian border in northern New York that serves as home to the 10th Mountain Division. Any time the ground of a federal installation is disturbed, archaeologists must first survey the site to make sure no historical artifacts will be lost or imperiled.
With Fort Drum building living and training quarters for a new brigade of 6,000 additional soldiers, Rush and her staff of three are nonstop busy. Each summer they get help from a cadre of 20 or so college students.
Since 1998, the team has dug more than 138,000 holes around the post. Amy Wood, a Colorado State University analyst who is part of Rush's staff, keeps track.
"You're just never sure what you might find so you have to pay close attention every time you look somewhere new," Wood said.
Army archaeologists already have identified a major Iroquois village in the middle of the post with dozens of lesser sites scattered around the installation. Rush said nearly 200 significant sites have been located on post.
I performed archaeological studies at Fort Dix, McGuire Air Force Base and Warren Grove Naval Bombing Range in New Jersey and the Naval Surface Weapons Center near White Oak Maryland.
Found some interesting things at Fort Dix and the Naval Surface Weapons Station. In all cases, the military was cooperative and professional in undertaking this work and it was a pleasure and honor to work with them.
wow. that list took off. LOL.
What usually happens to preserve this kind of site, and does it interfere with the use of the facility for the military purposes?
It certainly has.....it has been only an hour now and we have something like 15 members already :)
FReeper SunkenCiv's GGG ping to his list members should also bring more people to this list.
Unless the site it determined to be incredibly significant it doesn't stop any project. Here is a very basic synopsis of the type of work we do in a situation like this....
Basic Cultural Resource Management studies are performed in phases.
Phase 1 is a presence or absence survey (usually shovel testing at predetermined intervals) to determine if there are any cultural features within the proposed project area. If nothing of note is found, the project goes forward immediately, if resources are found that are deemed worth of further study the next step is undertaken which is...
Phase 2 is a limited excavation to determine the existence of intact subsurface features. During this phase small excavation units are opened in the areas of heaviest cultural activity. The purpose is to determine whether any significant archaeological features remain intact within the project area. If not, then the project moves forward immediately, if so then the next phase is undertaken which is.....
Phase 3 is a proper excavation of a portion of the significant cultural resource. Usually excavation units are opened that cover from 5 to 80% of a site (depending on its size). Usually the average is 10-20%. The purpose of this phase is to record as much available date about the cultural resource to determine it's signifigance before either preservation or destruction. Once this phase is complete, 99 times out of 100 the project goes forward and the site is destroyed. On very rare occassions, the area is determined too important to destroy (burial grounds etc.) and the project must either be cancelled or more often, redesigned to lessen or eliminate impact on the archaeological resource.
During all phases, the work performed is scrutinized by pertinent local, state and Federal officials (if applicable).
|Army archaeologists discovering history at Fort Drum
| Posted by xcamel
On News/Activism 12/10/2005 5:29:36 PM PST · 21 replies · 535+ views
AP ^ | December 10, 2005 | WILLIAM KATES
FORT DRUM, N.Y. -- Building for the future at the U.S. Army's Fort Drum is helping unveil the past. The newest discovery at the northern New York Army post is a prehistoric boat-building site near what would have been the shoreline of Glacial Lake Iroquois. A team of Fort Drum archaeologists surveying a wooded hillside near where the Army is putting a new National Guard training site unearthed an unusual looking stone tool. With the help of a U.S. Marine archaeologist, the team was able to identify it as a triangular-pointed reamer, a typical prehistoric boat-building tool. They also found...
Thanks for the info...
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