Earlier this month Conservancy President Mark Michael joined the staff of the Eastern Regional Office in New York for a great visit to a few Conservancy owned preserves, and to meet with landowners, of private property containing archaeological sites that would meet the Conservancy’s criteria for acquisition and conservation management, interested in preservation.
Our field visits to existing Conservancy preserves are very important to monitor conditions and deal with any property maintenance issues, thus making sure the sites continue to be preserved and protected. Much of the property maintenance in the northeast involves managing the amazing amount of vegetation that can grow up during the summer months. One of the best ways to do this, where appropriate, is actually using no-till farming methods. Some of the Conservancy’s New York properties have been traditionally farmed, and are still farmed with this method. Other properties are brush-hogged annually. There is a whole suite of summer work and we need a lot of helping hands to make it happen. The Conservancy relies greatly on a national system of volunteer site stewards to serve as our eyes and ears on the ground, to be onsite for us, and to assist us with various property management functions and monitoring for Conservancy owned preserves.
One of these site visits was to the Tram Preserve, which contains the remains of a Seneca Village dating to 1570-1590 ( pictured above). Another was to the Lamoka Lake Preserve, which contains the remains of an Archaic settlement from 3500 BC. One of our site visits was also to the Footer site, which the Conservancy is in the process of acquiring. The Footer site is a prehistoric Iroquoian habitation site that was occupied sometime between A.D. 1300 and 1500. Excavations at the site in the 1950s and 1960s uncovered over 7,000 artifacts. You can read more about the site in the most recent issue of American Archaeology.
In the United States, important sites like Footer that are located on private property are often without any protections from destruction and development (learn more about Footer). The Conservancy is currently raising funds to acquire the property where the Footer site is located in order to establish the property as a preserve, and assure its conservation and management for future generations.
The Archaeological Conservancy currently maintains 16 archaeological preserves across New York. Learn about More New York Preserves.
Update from the Eastern Region Field