Digging the Iroquoian Communities of Northern New York


by Michael Whittaker

The St. Lawrence Iroquoians, from a northern New York perspective, will be presented at the Rideau Valley Archaeological Society meeting Sunday, November 11, 12:30 pm, at the Goose and Gridiron in Merrickville. Everyone is welcome.

Dr. Timothy Abel

Dr. Timothy Abel will discuss his current research on Iroquoian occupations of northern New York, the sourcing of steatite (soapstone) beads, and high-precision Accelerator Mass Spectrometry dating of sites.

The St. Lawrence Iroquoians concentrated along the St. Lawrence River from the 14th to the late-16th century. Generally, they inhabited the watershed draining away from the river in what is now Ontario and New York.

Dr. Abel has been excavating a site in Sanford Corners, NY, east of Watertown. In Leeds and Grenville, there are the excavated Iroquoian sites at Robuck and Maynard, and at least six uninvestigated sites between Spencerville and Kemptville.

Dr. Abel’s research interests include Great Lakes archaeology, pre-contact ceramics, mortuary practices, and trade and exchange, and military sites archaeology. His current projects focus on pre-contact Iroquoian populations, and the War of 1812 in northern New York.

He earned a PhD in anthropology at the University at Albany in 2001. He works primarily as a consulting archaeologist, and is also professor of anthropology on adjunct contracts at Jefferson Community College and SUNY Canton.


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