In July and September 2019, NYSM archaeologists and volunteers conducted their fifth season of excavations at the OPS Paleoindian site in Madison County. Discovered in 2015, the OPS site has yielded stone fluted points of the Crowfield "style," indicating an early Native American encampment dating to the late Ice Age, circa 12,000-11,600 years ago. In 2019, our volunteer archaeologists dug 65 1-meter (3-foot) test units as part of a larger block excavation. Targeting an ancient activity area at this Paleoindian encampment, our efforts were rewarded with two fluted points, other stone tools and chert flaking debris from tool manufacture.
A video by Matt Urtz, Madison County Historian and videographer Samantha Field documents our field work:
This fall, we’ll continue our OPS block excavation during the weeks of September 14-18 and September 21-25, 2020. Volunteers welcome – all you need is an interest in getting your hands dirty while helping to reveal the human history of the Ice Age in central New York! Contact Dr. Jonathan Lothrop, NYSM curator of archaeology: Jonathan.Lothrop@nysed.gov