The New York State Archaeological Association (NYSAA) is composed of professional and avocational archaeologists who share an interest in the archaeological past of New York State. NYSAA promotes archaeological and historical research into the lives of people of diverse cultures living in what is now New York State and the material culture that they have left behind over the last 10,000 years.
The initial Rochester chapter, founded in 1916, is now known as the Lewis H. Morgan Chapter after the prominent Rochester railroad lawyer and avocational anthropologist. The early focus of the organization was on studying and excavating Native American sites. Dr. Arthur C. Parker (April 5, 1881 – January 1, 1955) was the first leader of the Association. Parker was an American archaeologist who was of Seneca Iroquois and Scots-English decent and was an expert on Native American cultures. Before becoming the director of the Rochester Museum and Science Center, he served for seventeen years as the New York State Museum‘s first full-time archaeologist and ethnologist. At the Rochester Museum, he helped build archaeological collections and promote archaeological research of the Genesee region.
There are now 16 regional chapters of the Association throughout New York State, including the original Lewis Henry Morgan Chapter. Each of the chapters holds monthly meetings where they present programs related to Native American, European American, and/or African American archaeology in New York State, in addition to other world-wide archaeological topics. Some of the chapters conduct their own fieldwork, encouraging member and volunteer participation. New York State archaeology is very much alive throughout the state in both urban and rural areas.
The NYSAA publishes the Bulletin and Journal of the New York State Archaeological Association, seasonal newsletters, and sponsors an annual meeting in the spring of each year. Most of the publications can be found under the Publications page. Find your local chapter here.