From the 1930s through the early 1960s, avid avocational archaeologist Dr. James Vieth collected and conducted test excavations on Native American archaeological sites, most often in Rockland County, southeastern New York. His son, James Vieth Jr., accompanied his father on many of these field outings, and in 2018, James generously donated his late father's artifact collection to the NYSM.
NYSM Receives Donation of James Vieth Artifact Collection
Without doubt, the collection’s highlight is a restored pottery vessel that Dr. Veith excavated in 1953 from a small rockshelter site near Suffern, New York. After fieldwork, he painstakingly refitted the broken sherds of this large conical pot, revealing an overall size of 20 inches (51 cm) in height, with a rim circumference of 45 inches (114 cm). Most striking is the presence on the pot's upper rim of 21 small, appliqued human faces. Similarities to some Native American pottery wares of the lower Hudson and Long Island suggest a later prehistoric age for this pot.