Mid-Hudson Valley Prehistory and Archaeology

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Tivoli Bays Archaeological Sites

The Hudson River Estuary extends from New York Harbor 150 miles north to the Federal Dam at Troy. Oceanic tides ranging between three and six feet rise and fall twice a day throughout the estuary. In the lower Hudson fresh water from the surrounding countryside mixes with salt water from the Atlantic Ocean, but at Tivoli Bays, the river's tidewaters are entirely fresh. The Tivoli Bays is a large freshwater tidal wetland surrounded by undeveloped land. The average tidal range at the bays is about four feet.

The Tivoli Bays provide an unusually interesting setting for long term archeological and ecological research projects. In the middle Hudson Valley this combination of islands, large embayments, wetlands, high bluffs and upland creeks is almost unique. The present-day abundance and diversity of wild plants and animals, both terrestrial and aquatic, has probably existed for at least 1000 years. It appears that the Bays area was attractive to native peoples at least as far back as 7000 years ago.

A region of intense archaeological activity, though subtle in its cultural remnants, the Hudson River's watershed presents a great opportunity to learn about research in prehistory across the North American continent and beyond. Habitation sites abound near the river and its tributaries, with two of the best examples on the Bard campus along Tivoli South Bay.

Hudson River
The Hudson Valley Regional Review
March 1992 Volume9, Number 1
Special Issue about Tivoli Bays Archaeological Sites

Robert Funk, well known for his earlier work on the Hudson Valley, introduces three reports on recent finds in the area and sets these digs in the context of a broader archaeological framework. Christopher Lindner writes of his findings at the "Grouse Bluff" site. Bethia Waterman and Elizabeth Chilton discuss the geology and archaeology of the Tivoli Bays area of Dutchess County, NY.

South Cruger Island Site
by William A Ritchie, State Archaeologist

An Introduction to Hudson Valley Prehistory
New York State Museum and Science Service, Bulletin 367

Printed with permission from the New York State Museum, Albany, N.Y.

Mill Road School
Mill Road Elementary School, Red Hook, NY

During the Fall of 1998, the Mill Road Elementary School fourth grade classes visited the Grouse Bluff prehistoric site located on a high bluff along the Hudson River at Bard College.This web site is a collection of stories and drawings from the 4th grade students describing their visit and the Lenni Lenapi indians that inhabited the site..
Chert Microdrills from Eastern New York
by Chris Lindner, Bard College and Lisa Folb, Northern Arizona University
Occasional Publications in Northeastern Anthropology, No. 15

Microdrills from the Lopuch 3 site may be the first such implements recognized in the Northeast. They were found during recent excavations along Schoharie Creek, the main tributary of the Mohawk River in eastern New York. Radiocarbon dating places them around 2400 years ago in the half-millennium long Early to Middle Woodland transition, one of the least understood time spans in this region.

This web site was created in partial fulfillment of the requirements for Bard College
course Anthropology 111, Field Methods in Anthropology.

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Last updated July 2007