Cayadutta (New York)

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    The Cayadutta site is a large, isolated 16th-century Mohawk village located in the southern foothills of the Adirondack Mountains in Johnstown, a city in east-central New York. Its position on a hilltop adjacent to Cayadutta Creek provided its inhabitants with a resource-rich location that was naturally defendable. The site was discovered in 1892, and since then it has been studied by archaeologists and raided by collectors. Over 2,000 artifacts from the site can be found in a number of public and private collections.

    Despite being disturbed by collectors, Cayadutta has intact features and an impressive artifact assemblage. The site was investigated by members of the New York State Archaeological Association, and later by Harrison Follette for the Rochester Museum and avocational archaeologist Vincent Shaefer. These early investigations explored middens on the site’s terraces and uncovered 47 postholes, some of which still contained original pieces of the wooden posts that formed part of a defensive palisade. Most recently, in 1988-89, the site was excavated by Pennsylvania State University archaeologist Dean Snow as part of his Mohawk Valley Project.