Northeastern Section - 54th Annual Meeting - 2019

Paper No. 29-1
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-12:00 PM


BETTKE, Lindsay N., Department of Geology, SUNY New Paltz, 1 Hawk Dr., New Paltz, NY 12561, MILLER, Madelyn G., Department of Geology, Union College, 807 Union St, Schenectady, NY 12308, RAYBURN, John A., Department of Geology, SUNY New Paltz, 1 Hawk Drive, New Paltz, NY 12561 and DIAMOND, Joseph E., Department of Anthropology, SUNY New Paltz, 1 Hawk Drive, New Paltz, NY 12561

In May of 1677 a group of French Huguenot families purchased 40,000 acres of land from the Esopus Indians and came to settle along the Wallkill River in the Hudson Valley of New York. What remains is now a 10-acre National Historic Landmark District along Huguenot Street in New Paltz. They protected the settlement with a redoubt that has long since disappeared. Although the eastern and a portion of the northern wall of the 1678-1680 French redoubt have been archaeologically located, the southern and western walls have not. These two walls needed to be located to determine the overall size of the fortification.

Grids of 5 x 5 m were established and investigated by half-meter transects using a Sensors and Software Noggin GPR with a 250 MHz antenna. Software-generated 3D models show a known alluvial gravel layer dipping from about 1.5 m depth in the northwest to 2.0 m in the southeast in our eastern-most grid. A north-south linear target intersects an east-west target forming a clear corner at about 0.5 m depth on the northeast edge of the grid, and was chosen as a point for excavation during SUNY New Paltz’s summer 2018 Archaeological Field School.

The excavation of units 251, 252, and 253 on a north/south axis located a north/south linear trench at the corner of the redoubt. The trench, and the enigmatic post-molds at the base of it, were similar to the eastern wall of the redoubt. Finds from inside the trench include 17th-century Dutch majolica, small red locally-made Dutch brick and hand wrought iron nails from the 17th century.