New York Archaeology Exhibits

New York by Regions: Adirondack Region

Roger’s Island Visitor’s Center

Fort W illiam Henry regional Archaeology ExhibitsFort Edward, P.O. Box 208, 11 Rogers Drive, Fort Edward, New York 12828.

Phone (518) 747-3693.

Archaeology exhibits at the Visitors Center tell the story of the Fort Edward area, from the earliest Native Americans that lived here through the Revolutionary War. The visitor’s center maintains an archaeological lab that is often a busy place with artifacts being cleaned, identified and readied for storage. These artifacts were recovered from a dig at the Sutler’s site near the old fort in Fort Edward. Some of the artifacts discovered in digs done at the fort itself in 1995-96 are on display in the center along with artifacts from the Little Wood Creek Archaeological Site in Fort Edward. The Little Wood Creek site was the home of Native Americans as long ago as 1000 B.C.

Fort William Henry

Fort William Henry Historical Site, Glens Falls, New York.
Phone (518) 668-3081.

This historic site documents the 18th century battle at Fort William Henry. Archaeological exhibits and displays within the museum show artifacts recovered from archaeological digs at the site and the region’s prehistoric occupants prior to use of the property as a military fortification.

Adirondack History Center Museum

Essex County Historical Society, P.O. Box 428, 7590 Court Street, Elizabethtown, New York 12932.  Phone (518) 873-6466.

The Adirondack History Center Museum displays artifacts from over two centuries of life in Essex County and the central Adirondacks. Ten major archaeology exhibit areas spread over three floors of a 1915 school building introduce visitors to pioneer settlements, domestic life, wilderness exploration and recreation, and transportation in the region. The museum’s diverse collection includes: artifacts from 18th century forts at Crown Point, an 1850’s Washington printing press, an 1887 Concord stagecoach, and other historical artifacts.  A rotating schedule of special exhibits examines historical topics not extensively treated in the permanent collection and features work by local artists.

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Allegany Region

Seneca-Iroquois National Museum Exhibits.

The Seneca-Iroquois National Museum, 794 Broad Street, Salamanca, New York 14779.  Phone (716) 945-1738.

The Seneca-Iroquois National Museum houses cultural artifacts, which serve to instruct the viewing public in the prehistoric, historic, and contemporary life of the Seneca and Iroquois people. Educational exhibits are held periodically in the form of lecture series and special exhibitions of Iroquois craftspeople working at the arts of bone and wood carving, beadwork, silverwork, painting, basketwork, and huskwork.

Capital/Saratoga Region

Native Peoples of New York

New York State Museum, Cultural Education Center, Empire State Plaza, Albany, New York 12230. Phone (518) 474-5877.

The first portion of the Native Peoples of New York exhibit is introduced by a mastodon life group set in the lower Hudson Valley, portraying the environment just before human occupation. Other life groups depict the nomadic life ways Ice Age Hunters, the hunting and gathering life ways of The Forest Foragers, and the profound impact of the domestication in The Three Sisters. A Mohawk-Iroquois Village features the most accurate, life-size re-creation of an Iroquois longhouse ever constructed within a museum.

Ancient Egypt Exhibit

Albany Institute of History and Art, 125 Washington Ave., Albany, New York12210. Phone (518) 463-4478.

Ancient Egypt fascinates students of all ages.  Through a study of the Albany Institute’s two ancient Egyptian mummies and various examples of art and artifacts, students explore daily life and customs, funerary and religious practices, and learn how these objects can be used to better understand ancient Egyptian culture.

Quackenbush Square Archaeology

Albany Visitor’s Center at Quackenbush Square, 25 Quackenbush Square, Albany, New York 12207. Phone (518) 434-0405.

In response to public interest, the Albany Heritage Area Visitors Center is hosting an informational exhibit including photographs and written information about the recent archaeological excavation at Quackenbush Square.

Artistic Rendition-Dutch Colonial Jambless Fireplace

Albany Visitor’s Center at Quackenbush Square, 25 Quackenbush Square, Albany, New York 12207. Phone (518) 434-0405.

The artifacts in this temporary exhibit are a mix of artifacts found at the Quackenbush Square archeological dig site, private collections and modern reproductions. Also on exhibit are several cases of artifacts and information about the rum making operation uncovered during archaeological excavations.

Archaeology and Discovery

Iroquois Indian Museum, P.O. Box 7, Howes Cave, New York 12092.
Phone (518) 296-8949.

Modern Iroquois culture has grown out of ancient traditions in New York that can be traced back archaeologically some 10,000 years. With an emphasis upon regional archaeology, the museum combines anthropological research with appreciation of contemporary sensitivities. The Museum’s discovery of the seat of the pre-Revolutionary Schoharie Mohawks is a particular emphasis in the archaeological exhibits. A joint project between the Museum’s Archaeology Department and the State University of New York at Cobleskill has enabled the museum to contribute to local prehistory through hands-on excavation, exhibits, and public programs.

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History of the Mabee Farm

Mabee Farm Historic Site,  Route 5S, Rotterdam Junction, New York 12150.
Phone (518) 887-5073.

The Mabee Farm in Rotterdam Junction, the oldest continuously inhabited farmstead in the Mohawk Valley, is now open to the public under the auspices of the Schenectady County Historical Society. Restored Farm buildings, artifacts from archaeological excavations, and the newly re-erected Nilsen Dutch Barn form a background for historical exhibits. The Mabee Farm provides a unique opportunity to tell the history of the Mohawk Valley, combining a farm and family history, an historic site, visually striking historic architecture, and artifacts from the 17th to 20th centuries. The Mabees were a typical farm family, and their story…the story of the common man…is important because our common heritage was formed by just such families. The Mabee Farm and the Schenectady County Historical Society have developed a teacher’s workbook and conduct educational programs that help bring to life the 4th and 7thgrade curricula. The workbooks and lesson plans are now available from the Historic Site and are designed to support a visit to the Farm and Children’s Educational Exhibits now installed in the Nilsen Barn.

Old Stone Fort Museum

Stone Fort Museum, 145 Fort Road, Schoharie, New York 12157. Phone (518) 295-7192.

The Old Stone Fort Museum is a small regional museum with displays on the archaeology and history of Schoharie County.

Noteworthy Indian Museum

Noteworthy Indian Museum, 100 Church Street, Amsterdam, New York 12010.
Location: Corner of Prospect and Church Streets. Phone: (518) 843-4761.

A cultural timeline, depicted by illustrations and artifacts, traces Native American life in the Mohawk Valley from 12,000 years ago to the present. Examine a carefully detailed scale model of a Mohawk longhouse during the “Month of the Cold Moon,” cooking fires cast a dim light on this moment captured from daily life. Poetry and paintings by contemporary artists add a human and modern perspective to the rich history of the Mohawk Valley. The museum is open for the months of June through August.

Iroquois Village of Caughnawaga and Museum

Fonda National Tekakwitha Shrine, Route 5, Fonda, New York 12068.

Phone (518) 853-3646.

The Iroquois Village of Caughnawaga and Museum document the archaeology of the Mohawk Valley. Visitors have the opportunity to visit the site of the Mohawk village of Caughnawaga and learn about the site’s excavation. This display is free and open to the public May 1 through October 31.

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Central Region

Children’s Museum of History, Natural History, and Science

311 Main Street, Utica, NY 13511. Phone (315) 724-6129.

The Children’s Museum of History, Natural History, and Science is located in Utica and houses a permanent exhibit that traces the history of the Mohawk Valley from the Haudenosaunee longhouses to the rise of the city of Utica in the mid-19th century.

Yager Upper Susquehanna Archaeological Collection.

Yager Museum, Hartwick College, Oneonta, New York 13820. Phone (607) 431-4480

The Yager Museum features changing and permanent exhibitions derived from traveling exhibits and the museum’s excellent anthropological collections. Seven exhibition galleries are located on the first floor of The Yager building with permanent holdings that include major collections of Upper Susquehanna Indian artifacts; southwestern pottery, baskets and rugs; South American pre-Columbian artifacts; and Meso-american artifacts.

Roland B. Hill Museum Archaeology Exhibit

Roland B. Hill Museum, Main Street, Box 92, Otego, New York 13825

The Roland B. Hill is a small museum with displays on local archaeology in Ostego County, New York. The museum also maintains a collection of artifacts from excavations completed by the New York Archaeological Association during the first half of the 20th century.

Native American Display

Chenango County Historical Society, 54 Rexford Street, Norwich, New York.

Phone (607) 334-9227.

The Native American display includes numerous artifacts including arrow heads, tools and baskets which where found locally. A large mural highlights a teaching area for children. Also on display are two canoes, one birch bark and a dugout, found in a pond in Pharsalia, NY in October 1963.

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 Finger Lakes Region

 History Encounters

The History Center in Tompkins County Museum, Phone (607) 273-8284.

The History Center is located in the Gateway Center on 401 East State Street, Ithaca, NY. After an introduction to the role of museums and the basics of collections care, students don white gloves and examine 18th & 19th century objects from the collection for an up close and personal encounter with the past. Students are challenged to find the theme that unites the objects.

Land of Clear Water

The History Center in Tompkins County Museum, Phone (607) 273-8284.

The History Center is located in the Gateway Center on 401 East State Street, Ithaca, NY. Nearly 10,000 years ago, Native Americans began to settle in this region and shape its landscape and its heritage. The Iroquoian name for Cayuga Lake was Tiohero, meaning “clear water,” and this exhibit pays tribute to that distinction. The stories of our ancestors, how they lived and made a living, is a source of local pride. So too is the history we make every day. In this exhibit, some of the stories of Tompkins County are presented.

Genesee Region

Ganondagan Longhouse Exhibit

Ganondagan State Historic Site, P.O. Box 113, 1488 State Route 444, Victor, New York 14564.  Phone (585) 924-5848.

Ganondagan is the location of a major 17th-century Seneca town and palisaded granary. Three hundred years ago, near Ganondagan, the French led an army from Canada against the Seneca to annihilate them and eliminate them as competitors in the international fur trade. The Seneca refer to Ganondagan as the Town of Peace and revere and protect the burial site of the Mother of Nations here. Illustrated signs mark the three trails where visitors can learn about the significance of plant life to the Seneca, about Iroquois customs and beliefs, and about the features of Fort Hill (the granary) and the events that occurred there. A traditional Seneca longhouse has been completed and open to the public.

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Hudson Valley Region

Fort Montgomery Historic Site.

Fort Montgomery Historic Site, Bear Mountain State Park, Bear Mountain, New York 10911. Phone (845) 786-2701 ext. 226.

Fort Montgomery was the scene of a Revolutionary War battle for control of the Hudson River. Visitors today can tour the remains of the 14½-acre fortification, perched on a cliff overlooking the magnificent Hudson River. Fort Montgomery State Historic Site is not a reproduction fort; it is a genuine vestige of our nation’s struggle for independence. Visitors will see the actual archaeological remains of the fort’s buildings and remains of the fort’s earthworks. Archeologists have revealed the stone foundations of barracks where the troops lived, the ruins of the powder magazine blown up by the British after the battle, and the eroded walls of the North Redoubt, where the outnumbered Americans courageously defended the fort. Interpretive signs, an audio tour, and group tours explain these remains and help visitors imagine how the fort and the battle may have looked.

Hudson Highlands Nature Museum, Route 9W South, Cornwall, N.Y.
Phone (845) 534-7781.

North of West Point sits the Museum of the Hudson Highlands. Preserved fishes, reptiles and amphibians as well as live animals are featured. The museum also contains Indian artifacts and geological specimens indigenous to the Hudson Valley and an ichthology collection from Hudson River tributaries. Hiking trails, interpretive and live animal exhibits, a Tall Grass Prairie and a regional artists’ gallery are also found at this museum. An evening film/lecture series, community events and a summer environmental workshop for children are some of its other features.

Van Wyck Homestead Museum

Fishkill Historical Society, 504 Route 9, Fishkill, NY. Phone (845) 896-9560.

This 1732 home of the Van Wyck family, Dutch settlers to the area, is located at the site of the headquarters for the supply depot for General Washington’s army from 1776 through 1783. It houses artifacts of the early Dutch settlers, Revolutionary War items, archeology finds, archives and farming items. Guided tours, lectures and an education program for children and adults are offered as well as a summer archeology research program and an annual Dutch spring weekend in May. The museum is open Memorial Day through Labor Day from 1 to 5 Saturdays and Sundays, other times by appointment. Admission fee.

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Long Island Region

Four Ancestors

Southold Indian Museum, 1080 Main Bayview Rd., P.O. Box 268 Southold, NY 11971.

Phone (631) 765-5577;    indianmuseum@aol.com

The Indian Museum in Southold offers a summer children’s program called Four Ancestors, which teaches children the importance of preserving sites for the future. Children participate in archaeological field activities. Open to children grades 2-5.

Metropolitan /NYC Region

Digging Up the Past.

The American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West at 79th Street, New York City, New York. Phone (212) 769-5906.

Digging Up the Past is a workshop for kids 9-10 that shows how life developed on earth. By excavating and making their own fossils, children discover how fossils are found and how they provide clues to the past. For more information on this and other children’s workshops, call (212) 769-5200. In addition, New York City high school students can take several after-school classes in human evolution and the application of physical and cultural anthropological techniques.

The Lott House

Brooklyn College Archaeology Research Center, Marine Park, Brooklyn.

Phone (718) 951-4714

The Lott House, an 18th-century Dutch farmhouse and landmark, offers summer field programs that allow students and volunteers to participate in excavations at the site. Although children under 8 are normally not allowed on site, special arrangements can be made for local community children and summer-camp groups.

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Niagara Region

Buffalo Museum of Science, 1020 Humbolt Parkway, Buffalo, New York 14211.
Phone (716) 896-5200.

Walk through the lives of the ancient Egyptians. Learn how they lived and see actual artifacts of their time. Guided tour, activity carts, and interactive Egypt room are part of this experience.

History and Archaeology Programs at Fort Niagara.

Fort Niagara Historic Site, P.O. Box 169, Youngstown, New York.

Phone (716) 745-7611

A guided tour of Old Fort Niagara, its buildings, fortifications, and exhibits are provided for visitors. The emphasis of the tour can be adjusted to suit the grade level and curriculum.

Holland Land Office Museum

131 West Main Street, Batavia, NY 14020.  Phone (585) 343-4724

The museum holds on permanent exhibit artifacts from the Hiscock Site in Byron, NY. The site is one of the richest Ice Age sites in North America and archaeologists from the Buffalo Museum of Science have been excavating there for almost 20 years. The exhibit, built in co- operation with the Buffalo Museum of Science, highlights some of the more interesting artifacts found at the Byron Dig including a nine-foot long mastodon tusk, a jaw, as well as artifacts from other animals that lived in the area.

Susquehanna/Delaware Region

Tioga County Historical Society

110 Front Street, Owego, New York 1382.  Phone (607) 687-2460.

The museum maintains a Native American exhibit outlining the history of the first Americans in what became Tioga County. Many artifacts, drawings, and pictures illustrate the life of these first peoples on the Susquehanna.

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