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.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

2015 Field School Tuition: $354 in-state (NY), $708 out-of-state!

The 2015 field school runs during the second summer session (begins July 6 and runs to August 13), and is worth 6 credit hours at Jamestown Community College. The course title is ANT 2010, and the Course Registration Number (CRN) is 4442. Forms can be found at Registration is open from January 2 until June 29. The field school is listed under an Experiential Learning internship initiative, resulting in a deeply discounted tuition rate: only $372 for New York State redidents (be sure to submit the residency form) and $744 for non-residents! For more information contact Shannon Bessette at or Steve Howard at

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Karl Site Dates

We recently submitted samples for radiocarbon dates for Feature 1 at the Karl Site (excavated in 2009 and 2012). The results are in, and the burned rock feature, likely an earth oven, was in use at least 5310 years ago.

                                           Feature 1

 It appears the feature was built by a local Lamoka group. They can be recognized in the archaeological record by their short, narrow dart points, like the one pictured below from a Karl Site surface survey.

                                                            Lamoka dart point from Karl Site.

A report is being produced which will include more details. It will be submitted for publication next spring. We would like to thank our supporting members, and all who were able to contribute toward our Radiocarbon Fund initiative. Thank you for your continued support, as the Bockmier One features will require dating soon. To make a quick contribution in time to include it on your 2014 taxes, you may use our secure donation link on this page (with a credit card or PayPal), or send a check to Allegheny Valley Project, 900 S. Lamar Blvd #213, Austin TX 78704.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Allegheny in July

Join us next season! To get on our email list, send a request to and don't forget to 'like' us on Facebook.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Analysis Update

We are currently mapping artifact distributions and looking at the plan maps in the longhouse area. It appears that we have a general east-west orientation of this house, and we have exposed a small cross-section including the north and south walls, two structural posts, and two hearth areas. there may have been a dividing wall present as well. As soon as a composite plan is completed, it will be posted here. We will continue to follow walls next season, and expand around F-13-05 to see if it was an indoor or outdoor pit. We're now up to 17 unique vessels from Bockmier One. Here are a few new individuals.

Tentatively called 'Pot P', this individual lacks a connecting rim sherd, but we do have a few with similarly produced obliques that may fit the bill.

If Pot P is a pot without a rim, Pot Q (so far) is a rim without a pot. Unfortunately, the two don't appear to match, but we have a few neck and shoulder pieces that may just go with this lonely rim sherd.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Artifact Processing

The processing of artifacts from season 2014 is progressing smoothly, and it appears that we have large portions of a few different pots. Who knew when Jill pulled out the first large rimsherd from the plow zone that much of "Pot O" would reveal itself deep in Feature 13-05. The temporary reassembly shown here is just from lot 086, and more of "Pot O" has turned up in other lots. In addition, at least two other pots have been identified from F 13-05, all Ontario Oblique varieties.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Winding Down

In our final days, we are keeping our fingers crossed for cooperative weather, but we can handle the rain.

It's a race against time, as more and more pottery is appearing in F 13-05. 

Saturday, August 9, 2014

A Site Visitor

Cynthia spotted this eagle, which had landed just east of Area C at Bockmier One site. Perhaps it is our neighbor from Portville checking up on us...

Monday, August 4, 2014

High Gear

As we enter the last two weeks of our field season, we have kicked our excavations into high gear, so that we may have a portion of the longhouse revealed before we leave. Teams are also focused on processing Feature 13-05 (the cylindrical pit), and retrieving soil samples for flotation. Our screening stations are having trouble keeping up!

Photo by Becky Garber 04-AUG-14

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Busy Week

We had a very busy week, completing several lot numbers, cleaning off features from last year, and prepping for and hosting our first annual Community Archaeology Day. Friday, Jill was surprised with a nice rimsherd from the plow zone at N248 E158.

Yesterday's Community Archaeology Day events and activities included a basket weaving demonstration,

pottery workshops throughout the day,

flintknapping demonstrations,

atlatl dart throwing lessons,

and an artifact identification booth.

The enthusiasm of our visitors and volunteers was met by a beautiful summer day. A wonderful time was had by all!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Community Archaeology Day

The excavations are progressing nicely, and we are busy preparing for our first annual Community Archaeology Day this Saturday. We have an all day artifact identification booth and artifact displays, a basket weaving demonstration in the morning (10am), flintknapping demonstrations throughout the day, a traditional pottery workshops in the morning and afternoon, an atlatl demonstration in the afternoon, and informational booths and site tours available all day. It should be a fun day! Come on out and join us at the Canticle Farm Market (3809 Old State Road) in Allegany.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Making Progress

We've been very fortunate to have dodged the rain showers (for the most part) for the last week and a day. We have re-excavated 8 units from last season, and have opened an additional 5 units so far... we are removing plow zone to reveal the undisturbed features beneath.

                                Jay and Jessica screening in Area C.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

A Wonderful Crowd

The Canticle Farm event organizer estimated that 15-20 people would show up at their Thursday evening AVP presentation (see poster in previous post). We had over 60 enthusiastic attendees, with many great questions and comments, most of whom made the trek down to see the site. We thank all who participated, and a special thanks to Mark, Susan and Sister Joyce from Canticle Farm for their efforts, and AVP volunteers Jill, Celia and Laurie for helping to facilitate the program. Cheers!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Friday, June 13, 2014

Archaeology Day

Field Season 2014 is quickly approaching! Make your plans to join us! This year we have a new event:

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Field School

The Allegheny Valley Project - SUNY JCC Field School 2014 is now a full six-credit course. The 3-credit option has been dropped due to lack of interest. Most four-year anthropology/archaeology programs require completion of six credit hours of field school, so most students opt for the six credit option. A reminder: the tuition is $1056 for New York State residents, and $2112 for non-residents. You can find registration forms at . Use these numbers to complete the form:
CMP   CRN          SBJ       CR HRS    FEES    COURSE TITLE
JM     4387     ANTH 8509      6             N/A     Archaeological Field School
Contact Shannon Bessette at or Steve Howard at for more information.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


The Spring 2014 newsletter has been sent! Electronic versions should be in your inbox (or check spam, if you haven't added our new email), and the paper versions should arrive in a few days.

Plan Ahead!

Here is the calendar for the 2014 Field Season for the Allegheny Valley Project, as it appears in the newsletter. Should any changes be made between now and then (weather, etc), they will be posted on this blog, so check back from time to time!
7 – six-credit field school opens; site prep
8-12 – 8am-5pm: 6cr field school; volunteer shifts
13 – site closed/activity date
14 – three-credit field school opens (8am-4pm); 6cr field school; volunteer shifts
15-18 – 8am-5pm: 3cr field school (-4pm);  6cr field school; volunteer shifts
19 – 8am-5pm: 6cr field school; volunteer shifts
20 – site closed/Seneca Pow Wow
21-25 – 8am-5pm: 3cr field school (-4pm); 6cr field school; volunteer shifts
26 – Community Archaeology Day
27 – site closed/activity day
28-31 – 8am-5pm: 3cr field school (-4pm); 6cr field school; volunteer shifts
1 – 8am-5pm: 3cr field school (-4pm); 6cr field school; volunteer shifts
2 – 8am-5pm: 6cr field school; volunteer shifts
3 – site closed/activity day
4-8 – 8am-5pm: 3cr field school (-4pm); 6cr field school; volunteer shifts
9 – 8am-5pm: 6cr field school; volunteer shifts
10 – site closed/activity day
11-14 – 8am-5pm: 3cr field school (-4pm); 6cr field school; volunteer shifts
14 – 5pm-8pm: Site Closing

Calendar Notes:
-          Every Thursday is a designated lab day for field schools. Rain days will be held in the lab, in which case some Thursdays may become field days.

-          One field school day will be spent at the Seneca-Iroquois National Museum, date to be announced.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

March Update

We are finally finished with the incorporation and non-profit processes! All of the bureaucratic details, state and federal, have been addressed, and we are fully functional as a non-profit corporation in New York. Now we can focus all our efforts on our mission! In addition to the above-mentioned tasks, we have been busy processing the materials and data collected last year at Bockmier One, and we have been working on the technical report for the Karl site excavations. The report for Karl is all but finished, awaiting funding for radiocarbon dates. It is imperative that we have dates for the burnt rock feature. We're hoping we will be able to afford to date at least two samples this year to complete the report, and then transform the report into a journal article.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Field School: 6 credit option

JCC is now offering a 6-credit option for the field school. Students earning 6 credits will begin July 7 and continue through August 14, Monday through Saturday (8am-5pm). Tuition for 6 hours is $1056 for in-state (NY), $2112 for out-of-state residents. Contact Shannon Bessette for more information at

Friday, January 3, 2014

Winter Newsletter

The Winter Newsletter has been sent, both electronic and paper versions. It will take a few days for the paper versions to arrive, but the electronic versions should be in your email inbox. If not, check your spam filter, since we are sending from our new email address. If you aren't on our mailing or email list you won't get it at all. Want to change that? Send us an email requesting to be on the list (either or both). Best of all, it's free! (We do, of course, appreciate donations).