A Research report on the Crowfield Paleoindians


by the Rideau Valley Archaeological Society

Michael Whittaker will report on his volunteer experience at the 12,000‑years‑old Owlville Pine South Crowfield Paleoindian site located in Canastota, NY, on Sunday, December 9, at 12:30 p.m., at the Goose and Gridiron in Merrickville.

The Crowfield habitation sites are rare, and the people are among the least understood of the Paleoindian groups. The excavations into the plough zone reveal few complete or broken tools, and tool manufacture flaking debris. There are no pot shards, and organics, such as bone and antler, have disappeared in the acidic soil.

The Crowfield people at Canastota were nomads in a sub‑arctic landscape, hunting caribou across the tundra along the southern shore of Lake Iroquois. Most of now Eastern Ontario remained covered by a slowly retreating a glacier.

The Crowfield name arises from a site first excavated west of London, Ontario in 1981 and 1982. Although archaeological sites usually take the name of the property owner, Owlville and associated sites are named for a small creek with which they are aligned. Jonathan Lothrop, Curator of Archaeology, at the New York State Museum headed the dig by museum staff and volunteers.

Topics planned for the 2019, include; the conservation of the Avro Arrow models recovered from Lake Ontario; maritime archaeology in the St. Lawrence River; the search for pre‑contact and historic sites in the Limerick Forest; and the legal obligations of municipalities, property owners, and developers to identify and protect archaeological sites.

Everyone is welcome. Come for lunch. The presentation begins about 1:15 pm.


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