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Abstracts: Issue 58


Number 58 Fall 1999 _____________________________________________________________________________________

The editorial comment for issue number 58 can be found at the end of this page.



1–25 Material Selection, Rejection, and Failure at Flint Mine Hill: An Eastern New York State Chert Quarry

Hetty Jo Brumbach and Judith Weinstein

Despite its size and importance in prehistory, the eastern New York State chert quarry known as Flint Mine Hill has seen little systematic study. To remedy this, the Department of Anthropology at the State University of New York at Albany carried out two seasons of field research, and made collections of chipped stone artifacts, debitage, hammers and other quarry tools. Following field collection, the discarded cores and bifaces were studied to learn more about the lithic reduction sequence. A basic assumption in the study was that each piece of worked stone had met the selection criteria of the preceding stage of manufacture but failed to meet the criteria of the current stage, resulting it its discard. Attributes of material selection, rejection, and failure were used to reconstruct decision-making in the reduction sequence.

Malgré sa taille et importance dans la préhistoire de l’état de New York, la carrière de chert nommée Flint Mine Hill n’a pas été etudiée, ni beaucoup, ni systématiquement. Le départment d’anthropologie de l’Université de l’État de New York a cherché a corriger ce manque avec deux périodes d’investigation de terrain, recueillant des collections de pièces de pierre taillée, du débitage, des percuteurs et d’autres outils de carrière. À la suite, les nucléi et les bifaces furent analysés pour la reconstruction de la séquence de réduction lithique. L’hypotèse considerée ici propose que chaque lame de pierre taillée satisfaisait le critère de sélection précédente mais pas la suivante, causant son écart. La méthode de selection de matière première, son rejet et échec, forment les attributs centraux de la séquence de décisions utilisée dans la réduction de l’objet lithique.

27–45 Nineteenth Century Urbanism and Public Health: The Evidence of Twelve Privies in Albany, New York

Robert M. Rosenswig

The rise of cities with high population densities poses many problems, not the least of which are risks to public health caused by inadequate disposal of human waste. In this paper I present archaeological evidence from Albany, New York, of three phases of privy construction dating from 1750 to 1880. The evidence indicates that in the mid-eighteenth century, privies were used as receptacles of human waste that required frequent emptying. As Albany became an urban center during the first four decades of the nineteenth century, residents experimented with privy technology, achieving various degrees of success—particularly in the effort to facilitate drainage. It was not until the 1850s, when an engineered sewerage system was built, that the city’s residents ceased to be responsible for their own waste disposal; as a result, privies were attached to sewers by drains. The privy data are discussed in terms of the nineteenth-century emergence of urbanism and changing attitudes towards public health in the United States.

Le accroissement des villes avec une populance dense et élevée cause une sèrie de problèmes comme le risque posé à la santé publique pour la gestion négligente des déchets humains. Ici, il se present des données archéologiques de trois phases de construction de latrines datant de 1750 à 1880 à Albany, New York. Vers la moitié du XVIII siècle, les latrines se remplissaient souvent et nécessitaient un nettoyage fréquent. Quand Albany est devenue un centre urbain important dans les premières quatre décades du XIX siècle, les habitants de la ville expérimentaient avec de nouvelles technologies de la latrine, survenant aux divers degrés de succès dans l’amelioration des systèmes de drainage. Pourtant, avec la construction du réseau des égouts en 1850, les habitants de la ville cessaient d’être responsables pour leurs déchets personnels et ainsi les latrines etaient attachées au réseau. Les données des latrines s’analysent dans le contexte de l’émergence de l’urbanisme et le changement des attitudes envers la santé publique aux États-Unis.

47–74 Patterns of Material Culture During the Early Years of New Netherland Trade

Wayne Lenig

This paper examines changing patterns of European trade goods at Mohawk village sites from the earliest Dutch contacts to about ad 1645. Discontinuities in material culture are correlated with historically documented changes which affected the distribution of trade goods. Ethnohistory and seriation are used to define and validate the resulting chronology. Some conclusions are drawn concerning the nature of Dutch-Iroquois trade relations; the absolute chronology of Iroquois archaeological sites in the first half of the seventeenth century; and the utility of ethnohistorically recorded Iroquois Myths and Legends.

Ce travail examine la distribution des biens commerciaux européens dans les villages Mohawk dès les premiers contacts avec les Hollandais jusqu’à 1645. Les différences en la matière culturelle coincident avec les changements dans le système de distribution detaillés dans les documents historiques. On emploie l’ethnohistoire et la sériation pour définir et valider une nouvelle chronologie. Quelques conclusions se presentent sur la nature des relations commerciales entre les Hollandais et les Iroquoiens, sur la chronologie absolue des sites archéologiques iroquoiens de la première moitié du XVII siècle et sur l’utilité des mythes et légendes iroquoiens rencontrés dans l’ethnohistoire.


75–78 Iroquoian Peoples of the Land of Rocks and Water, a.d. 1000–1650: A Study in Settlement Archaeology (William D. Finlayson)

James W. Bradley

78–79 At a Crossroads: Archaeology and First Peoples in Canada (George P. Nicholas and Thomas D. Andrews, editors)

Jordan E. Kerber

80–81 The Allegany Senecas and Kinzua Dam: Forced Relocation through Two Generations (Joy A. Bilharz)

John C. Mohawk

81–82 Applied Anthropology in Canada: Understanding Aboriginal Issues (Edward J. Hedican)

George P. Nicholas

83–85 Current Northeast Paleoethnobotany (John P. Hart, editor)

Jack Rossen

86–87 Oyster Wars and the Public Trust: Property, Law, and Ecology in New Jersey History (Bonnie J. McCay)

M. Estellie Smith


With this issue, Northeast Anthropology moves its offices from the University at Albany (SUNY), its place of origin, to Binghamton University (SUNY). The journal began in 1971 and has greatly prospered under the stewardship of its three previous editors, Howard Sargent, Dean Snow, and Richard Wilkinson. In an era when most regional journals specialize in one of the subdisciplines of anthropology, Northeast Anthropology has maintained a breadth of contributions and readership that clearly is a legacy of Franz Boas. It is with a strong sense of pride and humility that we undertake to continue this tradition at Binghamton.
Readers will be pleased to know that the journal is sound financially and in terms of numbers of subscribers. That means that blame for the tardiness of this issue can be laid at my door. Despite assistance above and beyond the call of duty from Richard Wilkinson and Adrian Burke (former Associate Editor), I still greatly underestimated the time required to turn around reviews, move through technical editing, and achieve a polished final product. Rest assured that we currently have a number of contributions in the queue, and plan to catch up by the end of the year. That said, Northeast Anthropology is always on the lookout for new and innovative articles, so please think of us for publishing the results of your research.
Laurie Miroff, a Ph.D. student in anthropology at Binghamton University, is the new Associate Editor, and Mary Ann Levine has graciously consented to continue as Book Review Editor. I am grateful to members of the past Editorial Board for their willingness to continue on in their positions and to help maintain the continuity of the journal. Please note that the journal has a new web site, and readers can contact me directly via my email. Both of these addresses are inside the front cover. Thanks to you all for your patience. We have several new plans for the journal (none too dramatic) and we will be keeping you informed of them as they begin to coalesce.

Charles Cobb


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