• Harvey Thorleifson, Chair
    Minnesota Geological Survey
  • Carrie Jennings, Vice Chair
    Minnesota Geological Survey
  • David Bush, Technical Program Chair
    University of West Georgia
  • Jim Miller, Field Trip Chair
    University of Minnesota Duluth
  • Curtis M. Hudak, Sponsorship Chair
    Foth Infrastructure & Environment, LLC


Paper No. 6
Presentation Time: 10:15 AM


DE SIMONE, David J., De Simone Geoscience Investigations, 957 Babcock Lake Rd, Petersburg, NY 12138 and KILKENNY, Christopher, Hartgen Archeological Associates, Inc, 1744 Washington Ave Ext, Rensselaer, NY 12144,

Hartgen Archeological Associates, Inc. and De Simone Geoscience Investigations conducted Phase III archeological data recovery and geomorphological studies of two Precontact archeological sites on opposite sides of the upper Hudson River in Waterford and Troy, NY. The studies were conducted for the Hudson River PCB Superfund Project in compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act and were overseen by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and Ecology and Environment, Inc. The project offered a unique opportunity to study very different archeological sites on opposite sides of the river. Geological analyses were essential to the archeological interpretations of the sites.

The Hudson Lowland formed in a narrow north-south belt of mélange bounded by Reudemann’s Line on the west and Emmons’s Line on the east. The mélange is composed of shale-rich flysch with faulted and slumped slabs of Taconic Allochthon lithologies. Resistant ridges trend NNE within the mélange. They emerged from till and glaciolacustrine sediment cover during the high discharge outflow of Glacial Lake Fort Ann ca.13,200-13,000 years ago. This lake outflow scoured the bedrock and exposed the Batten Kill-Hudson bedrock channel occupied by the Hudson River from Troy north to Ft. Edward, NY. The Hudson River flows on the floor of this channel but is maintained at low flood stage during operation of the Hudson-Champlain Canal.

Ridges bounding the Dickerson Street Site on the east contain two types of silica-rich stone quarried for stone tool production by Native Americans, who took advantage of the variety of lithic resources within the mélange. Native Americans also camped on a terrace within the site, where a mature soil with a thick ‘B’ horizon and the occurrence of a Late Archaic artifact near the surface indicates infrequent flooding over the past 4000 years.

The Water Works Site was located on a sandy beach on the northwest portion of an island consisting of a mélange ridge. This beach prograded southwest as the channel infilled with flood deposits that eventually merged island to mainland. Dating of this site indicates occupation as late as the latter half of the 17th century.

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