Saturday, April 02, 2005

Ever wonder what archaeology isn't?

Re: Field Technicians Needed I had field-school in New York and “Long Island Archaeology� taught by R. M. Gramly, PhD., of Harvard University (and other undergrad archaeology classes with him at Stony Brook University) in 1977, with Margaret Gwynne, who since, a PhD. awarded, is a Stony Brook U. faculty member. Also assisting in the field-school was Sherene Baugher, PhD., who was the first New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission Archaeologist, now at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. Safety is often overlooked where information about properties, available along the lines of a historic map and "title search," could help determine its past use. An employee's "right to know" should extend into the past workplaces from current workplace rules. What a site was or is (i.e., full of lead paint Chicago Bridge and Steel Co., in Cold Spring, NY, Hudson River site of the 19th c. West Point Foundry, producers of cannons and shells, etc., or contains "depleted uranium" from ammo on a former jet [A-10] target range at Fort Drum, NY I've worked next to) we should know. Findings of illegal dumping, also should be treated in a safe manner, along with “call before you dig� street markings provided free by the various utilities in business in many communities. I feel it important that archaeology helps provide the ecology of a place which may include the recognition of endangered resources found in the course of testing. For example, in my experience, next to National Register nominated schoolhouses in Farmingville, NY, a nesting pair of hawks, were reported by a crew member to authorities. Those events are not regulated, (unless a part of the planning process) coming from a resident, though may be attributed to archaeology, even if it's company is from outside a locality, as many of the jobs are done today it seems, though I would leverage local archaeology over minimum bid structure if I could. Monitoring of excavations, I feel, needs to be implemented, plans get changed, and finalized, impacts may occur with unintended consequences. Testing can only reach shallow depths, (i.e., small "percolation tests" for drainage on Long Island, with a formula for proposed land-cover, creates the sized excavation of “recharge basins�) and the finalized designs should be part of archaeology testing and geology. New York City, has required deep borings for many years, prior to substantial building and sometimes coordinated with archaeology (i.e., “Love Lane� site in downtown Brooklyn, NY.) ...and we don't get paid if it rains.

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