Saturday, March 31, 2007

Babylon 4

Fort Drum Ruins Training "Unusual features have been built in the Fort Drum military installation near Watertown, NY. In an effort to train soldiers and pilots to recognize such features as cemeteries and ancient ruins, archaeologist Laurie Rush used Defense Department funding to build a Muslim cemetery and a mound of ruins on one of the Army's ranges. The project began when Rush learned of the defiling of Babylon in 2003 by invading U.S. Marines who built a helicopter pad on the ruins of the ancient city, destroyed a 2,600-year-old brick road, and filled sandbags with archaeological fragments. A veteran pilot observing the new "ruins" at Fort Drum said they looked like the ones over there. The project will give pilots firsthand experience in recognizing and identifying these kinds of sites from the air." Reported by Lois Feister in the "Current Research" section of the "Council for Northeast Historical Archaeology Newsletter" (p. 14 March 2007, Number 66) of which I have been a member of for 25 years or more, recently so noted. It's next meeting, October 26-28, 2007 will be in Buffalo, New York, "Dubbed the "Queen City" for its prominence as a 19th century Great Lakes port, the Buffalo region is noted for its French, British, and American colonial past as well as its 19th and 20th century architecture and industrial history" (same source). Ed. - Envirosphere, with offices then in a World Trade Center tower (on the 90th of three or four floors it, a part of the Texas-based Ebasco, had occupied before moving to East Orange, NJ) did the original archaeological survey in 1983 that I was hired for. The US Army 10th Mountain Division has since moved permanently there. There were interesting bog iron foundries there and a large dairy industry. A-10s used to fly there often for range practice. (April 1, 2007 the end of New York State's fiscal year)

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