The State Museum, State Library and State Archives are temporarily Closed.

NYSM Archaeologists Return for Fifth Field Season at OPS Paleoindian Site

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:

https://youtu.be/Bk DNjZ4ZH4k

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

Volunteers Sue S. and Neil W. pause during block excavations at the OPS Site, July 10, 2019
Volunteers Sue S. and Neil W. pause during block excavations at the OPS Site, July 10, 2019
Volunteers Chelsea S. and John G. celebrate their fluted point find at OPS site, July 11, 2019.
Volunteers Chelsea S. and John G. celebrate their fluted point find at OPS site, July 11, 2019.
OPS excavation crew, September 18, 2019
OPS excavation crew, September 18, 2019