This is the place to find out the latest developments in the AVP. Find out what new archaeological discoveries have been made, and find out how to volunteer for an archaeological investigation.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

December Update

The processing of the Karl Site materials is running smoothly along. The surface survey materials are processed and catalogued, and the excavation materials processing is underway. I've included a few examples of artifacts from the surface survey of Area B below. The project is going through the process of becoming a registered non-profit entity. This will enable us to better fulfull our mission, and will provide our donors with a tax deduction. We have formed an incorporating board of directors and are now going through legal processes. The Allegheny Valley Project, Inc. mission statement and financial records will be posted on pages within this site once all details have been finalized through the board. The Winter newsletter will be sent out late January or early February, and will have more details about this process and the 2013 field season.

                                      Pitted stone, Karl Site Area B

                                       Hammerstone, Karl Site Area B

Projectile Point (Lamoka type), Karl Site Area B

More artifacts from Area B are pictured on the Karl Site page.

Friday, September 7, 2012

September Update

It's been a while since my last post, so I figured an update was in order. The Summer-Fall newsletter will be ready the last week in September, and should be sent shortly thereafter. If you're not on the mailing list or email list, let me know at or that you would like to be connected. This year's field season provided a wealth of information to further our understanding of the subsistence patterns along the Allegheny during the Archaic Period. We collected several more carbon samples for dating, so we'll know when during the Archaic the Karl site was inhabited. A new artifact type that hadn't previously been recorded from the site is the netsinker, which will be a featured article in the newsletter. Three of these very simple yet effective tools were recovered during the 2012 season.

Karl Site netsinkers
Area B, the Stoeckel Tract, yielded additional bifaces as well, including a few types we hadn't seen previously at Karl. Distribution information from the Stoeckel Tract also helps us understand the settlement pattern at the Karl site, revealing two lithic "bands" parallel to the terrace edge, and a small scatter to the east of the main Karl site distribution. Analyses are underway to figure out what it all means.

Small projectile point from Area B

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Thanks everyone!

Although I wish I could have stayed in the (relatively) cool summer of New York, I am back in Texas now ... toasty. Thanks to all who participated and to all who supported us through kind words and contributions. AVP 2012 was a great success, and now there is plenty of work to be done analyzing the data. Artifact pictures will be posted soon, as well as updates on the analysis process, report production, and AVP Field Season 2013 (already in the planning stages). I hope to see all of you next year, whether returning or for the first time. Special thanks go out to the Seneca Iroquois Nation Museum and Seneca Nation THPO for their involvement and support, to Tom Sherman for his tireless efforts for three weeks, to Marcia Karl and Jack Stoeckel for allowing us to work on their adjacent parcels, and to Alice Altenburg, Jill Patton, Marcia Karl, Dave Hornburg and Shults Auto for their support of the project. Finally, a hearty thanks goes out to all of our volunteers! I hope to see all of you again next year!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Last Days Schedule Changes

We will be open to volunteers and visitors at the site Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 9am to 6pm. You may just show up at the site if you'd like (4316 S. Nine Mile Rd). Thursday we will be having a lab workshop at the Seneca Nation Museum's curation facilities in Salamanca, beginning at 10am. Email me at if you'd like to participate in the workshop, and I'll email the directions to you. Saturday, sadly, we will be closing up the site and I'll be packing up for my trip back to Texas. We would like to see you at the site or the workshop this week!


A participant through the Seneca Nation Vision 20/20 program learns to map a plan view.

Feature 1 revisited

The remnants of Feature 1 at Karl.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Workshop Postponed

Due to the sensitivity of the equipment to the weather, we are postponing the remote sensing/CRM workshop. If we are able, we will reschedule the workshop later in the week. Sorry about the short notice, but we thought the weather would be a little more cooperative. Come on out to the site to visit or volunteer this week, as it's the last week of the season!

Rain Out

We were rained out today, conveniently right around lunchtime, so fortunately we managed to get a half-day in. Unfortunately, it looks like it may rain off and on for the rest of the day. If it is raining or threatening rain around the time of the workshop, we will have to cancel.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Workshop Sunday

Weather permitting, we will have the combined Cultural Resource Management and non-intrusive investigation (remote sensing) workshop on Sunday at 5:30 in the field. We will be discussing CRM processes and procedures, and remote sensing devices such as ground penetrating radar and gradiometers, and their utility to archaeology. We're in our last week of the 2012 field season, so be sure to visit soon!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Schedule Change

Today's scheduled CRM workshop will be combined with the reconnaissance workshop on July 15th. We will be excavating at the site until 5:00 today, weather permitting. Monday's scheduled day off will be a fieldwork day, from 9 to 5. The site is open to visitors every day, from now until the site closing on July 21st. Volunteers are always welcome, as well. See you in Allegany!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

ID Workshop

Thursday's workshop begins at 10am, and we will be looking at various  local artifact types and how to identify them. Feel free to bring items from your own collections for identification. The workshop will be held at the corral at 4316 S Nine Mile, for ease of access.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

We have a workshop scheduled at 9 today, then fieldwork will stretch from 11 to 7. If you miss today's workshop, a similar one is scheduled for Thursday.

Saturday, July 7, 2012


Fieldwork was interrupted today by a fast and furious storm. Tomorrow is a scheduled day off, and we will resume fieldwork on Monday. As always, volunteers are welcome! Send me an email at

Friday, July 6, 2012


A week into the project, and we have made a dent in the research design. Three 1m by 1m units are underway, and we have several shovel tests completed. Features are just beginning to emerge. We can still use volunteers, so come on out. Remember, tomorrow (Saturday) is an open visitor day, so come on down to check out what we're up to.

                                              A young volunteer flagging artifacts in Area B.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


Thursday's lab workshop will be held at the site, and excavations will occur as we prep for the workshop, so the excavation schedule for Thursday is 9 to 6 as usual.

Open Day

Happy Independence Day! Today the site is open to public visitors from 11am to 3pm,so come on out to see what we're up to. Bring a picnic lunch, if you like, as we will be having lunch around noon. The project this year is funded completely by private donations, so we have t-shirts available for a $15 donation ($12 for volunteers). You can register to volunteer at the site, if you haven't already.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Finishing up initial shovel test pits today, then we'll start unit excavations. Volunteers of all capacities are still needed. Email today or visit the site on open days (now Wednesdays and Saturdays). Scroll down through older posts to see the schedule and workshop days.

Sunday, July 1, 2012


In the Times Herald article, the email address read The address is actually Thanks for your interest, and email to volunteer! The site is open to public visitors from 11am to 3 pm on Wednesday July 4th. See you there!


Grid is set up, two shovel tests down, and a surface survey of the adjacent parcel is in the works. Sending the grid into to J. Stoekel's field today, so we'll be ready to expand the distribution map next week. I'm told we made the front page of the local paper today...

Saturday, June 30, 2012

The site is behind 4316 South Nine Mile Road. There is parking in the corral next to the barn. Please walk down the drive to the right of the small mobile home on the parcel.

Field Workshop

Today is the first field workshop, 9 to 11am, then volunteer hours begin! Today we will focus on setting up the grid and locating the old excavation units. Over the next few days, we will expand the excavation at Feature 3, and we will be testing other anomalies that were revealed with a device called a gradiometer.
SCHEDULE UPDATE: The scheduled "day off" on Monday will be a fieldwork day from 9am to 3pm.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Field Season 2012 is almost here! Funding for this season's equipment and supplies comes mainly from donations from D. Hornburg, A. Altenburg and J. Patton. We have several local volunteers registered, and a few from not-so-local places like New Hampshire and Virginia. As the first full-scale season of the project, this is our "test run," so to speak. We are still working on a shoe-string budget, and have allowed ourselves some flexibility to learn what works and what doesn't. It promises to be an exciting season!
This blog will serve as a communications window during the field season, with updates at least every few days. Any scheduling changes that may occur will also be posted here.
On a more somber note, during preparations for this season, I learned that Jim Bockmier passed away on February 23. Through the years, Jim has graciously allowed countless investigations on his farm, from field surveys, to test excavations to a SUNY Geneseo field school that ran there for two summers. He was a great friend and the most intelligent agriculturalist I have ever met. He taught me much about the processes he used to produce his famous sweet corn and other produce. He was always interested to hear about the archaeological work that went on in the Allegany area, including on his acreage. Jim, you will be missed.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Volunteer registration

Volunteer spots are still available on most days, and all workshops are still open to new participants. Register today to ensure your spots. (Just email to or with your preferred dates. It's that easy.)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


The calendar below lists eight workshops, held at various times throughout the field season. The topics for these workshops are as follows:
June 30 (9-11am): site preparation and grid setup, and mapping
July 5 (5-7pm): lab skills and curation
July 6 (5:30-7:30pm): plan and profile drawing, and site photography
July 10 (9-11am): technology and artifact identification
July 12 (10am-12pm): artifact identification and seriation
July 13 (5:30-7:30pm): Cultural Resource Management
July 15 (5:30-7:30pm): non-invasive reconnaissance
July 19 (10am-12pm): lab skills and curation, artifact identification
Workshops are free and open to the public, but space is limited, so register soon (simply email to reserve a spot). Lab workshops (July 5, 12 and 19) will be at the lab location (still to be determined, but in the Allegany area), and all other workshops are held at the Karl Site.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Spring Newsletter/Calendar

The Spring 2012 newsletter has been sent, and includes the calendar for the summer field season. Below is the calendar, which is subject to change due to weather, field conditions and other unforseen circumstances. All changes will be posted here and emailed to registered volunteers.


      29 – site preparations

      30 – 9-11am: field workshop

               11am-6pm: field volunteer shifts


      1 – 11am-6pm: field volunteer shifts

      2 – site closed/rain date

      3 – 9am-6pm: field volunteer shifts

      4 – 9am-4pm: field volunteer shifts

             11am-3pm: site open to visitors

      5 – lab preparations

             5-7pm: lab workshop

      6 – 9am-4pm: field volunteer shifts

             5:30-7:30pm: field workshop

      7 – 9am-6pm: field volunteer shifts

            11am-5pm: site open to visitors

      8 – site closed/rain date

      9 – 9am-6pm: field volunteer shifts

      10 – 9-11am: field workshop

              11am-7pm: field volunteer shifts

      11 – 9am-6pm: field volunteer shifts

      12 – 10am-12pm: lab workshop

               1-7pm: lab volunteer shifts

      13 – 9am-4pm: field volunteer shifts

               5:30-7:30pm: field workshop

      14 – 9am-6pm: field volunteer shifts

              11am-5pm: site open to visitors

      15 – 9am-4pm: field volunteer shifts

              4:30-6:30pm: field workshop

      16 – site closed/rain date

      17 – 9am-6pm: field volunteer shifts

      18 – 10am-7pm: field volunteer shifts

      19 – 10am-12pm: lab workshop

               1-7pm: lab volunteer shifts

      20 – 9am-6pm: field volunteer shifts

      21 – 9am-3pm: field volunteer shifts

               10am-3pm: site open to visitors     

               3:30-5:30pm: site closing

Monday, March 19, 2012

2012 Field Season

The 2012 Field Season schedule is being finalized this week. I looks like it will last three weeks, encompassing four weekends, most likely in July. Field participants are limited to 6-8 per day, and the field operations will occur 5 days per week. Email to schedule your volunteer slot. Early registrants have the most flexibility in choosing days, times, etc. You may volunteer for fieldwork for a half-day, one day, a weekend, a week, two weeks or the full three week period. Lab days will be Thursdays and rainy days. Open hours in the field are 9-6 or 7, and in the lab are 10-7. Partial shifts and half-days are available (most work usually occurs between 10 and 3). Lunch is usually between 12 and 1. The official 2012 schedule should be ready by next week and will be posted here and in the newsletter.