Archaeology Exposed: NYSM Open House at Schuyler Flatts a Success
Archaeologists with the New York State Museum are working at Schuyler Flatts in Albany County to learn more about life along the Hudson River hundreds of years ago and how Europeans, Africans, and Native Americans left their marks in the form of artifacts and building foundations. On Saturday, June 25th, the public enjoyed a free open house highlighting their research at the Schuyler Flatts Cultural Park in Menands.
Visitors toured the area, enjoyed demonstrations of advanced technologies used to conduct excavations, and viewed newly discovered artifacts. They were the first to see the scope of the Museum's work and enjoy a rare chance to speak with archaeologists about recent discoveries, new technology that allows them to see "anomalies" underground, and the next stage of research into life at Schuyler Flatts.
This project represents the latest stage of ongoing archaeological research at Schuyler Flatts. In 2005, the remains of 14 individuals were uncovered during a construction project. NYS Museum bioarchaeologist Lisa Anderson led research on the remains and, through extensive analysis, determined that they belong to enslaved people who worked at Schuyler Flatts. Facial reconstructions, DNA analysis, and physical examination of the remains all testified to their ancestry, birthplace, hard work, diets, and even habits.
Michael Lucas, curator of historical archaeology, and a team of NYS Museum archaeologists conducted tests at the Flatts designed to locate possible structures and learn about the site's original buildings. By investigating artifacts and the archaeological remains of the built environment his team hopes to learn more about the role of the farm and the lives of those who lived and worked there, including the enslaved people whose remains have been found.