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New York State Museum announce Research in Archaeology lectures

Research findings on a 200-300-year-old skull found in a wall in Coeymans – the subject of recent news accounts – will be one of the topics discussed during a series of free weekly lectures on “Research in Archaeology” at the New York State Museum.

The five lectures will be held every Wednesday through March 28 at 12:10 p.m. in the Huxley Theater. Lecture topics and dates are:

February 29 – “The Archaeology of Eurocentrism.” Historical archaeologists study the role of Europeans in post-1500 history, but sometimes this research is labeled Eurocentric. Dr. Charles Orser, curator of Historical Archaeology, will address the problems of adopting a purely emotional view of Eurocentrism and argue instead for its examination.

March 7 – “Preserve, Protect, Document: Archaeology of the Bailey Site, Onondaga County, New York” The State Museum’s Cultural Resource Survey Program assists state and federal agencies in meeting their historic preservation mandates by documenting and preserving cultural remains before they are lost through construction. State Archaeologist Dr. Christina Rieth will discuss the Bailey site and stewardship activities carried out at this 15th-century horticultural hamlet.

March 14 – “Learning from Pottery.” Broken pieces of pottery, or sherds, are one of the most common artifacts recovered from archaeological sites younger than 3,000 years old. Dr. John P. Hart, director of the State Museum’s Research & Collections division, will discuss recently completed research on sherds that provides information on how Native Americans interacted across what is now New York state.

March 21 – “The Skull in the Wall: The Case of the Coeymans Lady.” The discovery of a human skull during repairs to the stone foundation at the historic Coeymans House in southern Albany County raised many questions about the person’s identity and manner of death. Lisa Anderson, curator of bioarchaeology, will take a closer look at the skeletal evidence and historical context of the case.

March 28 – “Cache and Carry: New Insights on Ice Age Technology of New York Paleoindians.” New York’s first people colonized the state at the end of the Ice Age. Ranging widely across New York and beyond, many have wondered how these hunter gatherers created a portable stone technology compatible with their mobile way of life. Dr. Jonathan Lothrop, curator of archaeology, describes new insights from the study of a Paleoindian stone tool cache discovered in the upper Susquehanna Valley.

Founded in 1836, the State Museum is a program of the New York State Education Department’s Office of Cultural Education. Located on Madison Avenue in Albany, the Museum is open Monday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. Admission is free. Further information can be obtained by calling (518) 474-5877 or visiting the museum website at

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