Since 2012, archaeologists from the State Museum have been working alongside a highway construction project in Utica, uncovering artifacts from the early 19th century.
Why? The archaeologists are members of the Cultural Resources Survey Program (CRSP)at the State Museum. CRSP helps agencies meet state and federal historic preservation mandates during construction projects. If any archaeological or cultural resources are found at a site, CRSP ensures that the objects are preserved for future research.
The CRSP work in Utica centers around the location of the former Chenango Canal. The archaeologists have uncovered evidence of what life was like in the Utica area in the early to mid-1800s, from pieces of pottery to household goods to children's toys.
"This is a unique opportunity to look at a snapshot in time and study what life was like for an average working class citizen in the Utica area in the early 19th century," says State Archaeologist Christina Rieth.
The project is expected to be completed in the next few years, after which the artifacts will be added to the Museum's collections and made available to researchers. A selection of artifacts will be on display at the Museum in May.