Late Pleistocene and Holocene Vertebrates from Joralemon's (Fish Club) Cave, Albany County, New York

TitleLate Pleistocene and Holocene Vertebrates from Joralemon's (Fish Club) Cave, Albany County, New York
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1993
AuthorsSteadman, DW, Craig, LJ, Engel, T
JournalBulletin, Journal of the New York State Archaeological Association
KeywordsHolocene, late Pleistocene, vertebrate fossils

At least 35 species of fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals were recovered from excavations conducted in 1988 and 1990 at Joralemon's Cave, Town of Coeymans. Albany County, New York. Formerly known as Fish Club Cave, this site was excavated initially in 1962-1964 by R.E. Funk and R.A. Johnson, who reported bones of whitetailed deer (96% of all bones) and five other species associated with lithic artifacts of Woodland and Late Archaic age. Our more recent excavations yielded bones of one
species that no longer occurs in New York State (Neotoma magister, Allegheny woodrat) and three other species that either are absent or extremely rare within 70-20 km of the site (Crotalus horridus, timber rattlesnake; Synaptomys cooperi, southern bog lemming; Ursus americanus, black bear). Our larger, faunal assemblage, obtained front a much smaller volume of excavated sediment, reflects: 1) the use of finemesh (1/16-in) screens: 2), faunal and cultural differences between the front and back of the cave; and 3) a search image oriented as much to bones as artifacts. While Joralemon's Care clearly is an archaeological site, it is also partly paleontological in origin (i.e., it contains bones deposited by non-human means). We believe that the vertebrate faunas
from most "archaeological" sites in caves and rockshelters include a significant paleontological component that should be regarded as such when interpreting faunal assemblages in terms of human subsistence.