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Maize and Pits: Late Prehistoric Occupations of the Hurley Site in the Esopus Creek Valley, Ulster County, New York

TitleMaize and Pits: Late Prehistoric Occupations of the Hurley Site in the Esopus Creek Valley, Ulster County, New York
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsHart, JP, Brumbach, HJ, Anderson, LM, Winchell-Sweeney, S
JournalArchaeology of Eastern North America
Volume45
Start Page133
Pagination133-160
Abstract

There is a long-standing debate in the archaeological literature regarding the extent to which late-prehistoric Algonquian-language-speaking populations in temperate northeastern North America engaged in agricultural production. The Hurley site, located in the Esopus Creek valley of eastern New York, occupied from the cal. eleventh through sixteenth centuries A.D., falls within historical Algonquian territory. Evidence from this site including 439 deep pits, some with massive deposits of maize kernels, and human dental pathologies suggest that maize-based agriculture was a significant component of pre-Contact subsistence systems. The Hurley site adds to our understanding of the diversity of subsistence practices in historical Algonquian territories prior to European incursions.