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Resolving Indigenous village occupations and social history across the long century of European permanent settlement in Northeastern North America: The Mohawk River Valley ~1450-1635 CE

TitleResolving Indigenous village occupations and social history across the long century of European permanent settlement in Northeastern North America: The Mohawk River Valley ~1450-1635 CE
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsManning, SW, Lorentzen, B, Hart, JP
JournalPLOS ONE
Volume16
Issue10
Paginatione0258555
Date PublishedOct-15-2022
ISSN1932-6203
Abstract

The timeframe of Indigenous settlements in Northeast North America in the 15th-17th centuries CE has until very recently been largely described in terms of European material culture and history. An independent chronology was usually absent. Radiocarbon dating has recently begun to change this conventional model radically. The challenge, if an alternative, independent timeframe and history is to be created, is to articulate a high-resolution chronology appropriate and comparable with the lived histories of the Indigenous village settlements of the period. Improving substantially on previous initial work, we report here high-resolution defined chronologies for the three most extensively excavated and iconic ancestral Kanienʼkehá꞉ka (Mohawk) village sites in New York (Smith-Pagerie, Klock and Garoga), and a fourth early historic Indigenous site, Brigg’s Run, and re-assess the wider chronology of the Mohawk River Valley in the mid-15th to earlier 17th centuries. This new chronology confirms initial suggestions from radiocarbon that a wholesale reappraisal of past assumptions is necessary, since our dates conflict completely with past dates and the previously presumed temporal order of these three iconic sites. In turn, a wider reassessment of northeastern North American early history and re-interpretation of Atlantic connectivities in the later 15th through early 17th centuries is required. Our new closely defined date ranges are achieved employing detailed archival analysis of excavation records to establish the contextual history for radiocarbon-dated samples from each site, tree-ring defined short time series from wood charcoal samples fitted against the radiocarbon calibration curve (‘wiggle-matching’), and Bayesian chronological modelling for each of the individual sites integrating all available prior knowledge and radiocarbon dating probabilities. We define (our preferred model) most likely (68.3% highest posterior density) village occupation ranges for Smith-Pagerie of ~1478–1498, Klock of ~1499–1521, Garoga of ~1550–1582, and Brigg’s Run of ~1619–1632.

URLhttps://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0258555https://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0258555
DOI10.1371/journal.pone.0258555
Short TitlePLoS ONE