Dutch Colonial Digs



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During the summer of 1971, students from the Helderberg Workshop (a summer program emphasizing hands-on learning), with the support of the NY State Historic Trust Foundation, began an archeological dig at the site of the Schuyler Flatts house.  This dig was unique in that it employed carefully trained elementary and high school students from the Capital Region and their teachers who worked under the tutelage of professional historical archeologists, Paul Huey, Lois Feister and others from the Office of NY State Historic Preservation.

While this carefully planned and executed dig provided a unique educational experience, it also yielded a large collection of artifacts which can be used to document human habitation and activity at the site during the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries.  Some of these artifacts have since become part of the permanent exhibit at Crailo State Historic Site in Rensselaer.  Others have been preserved in the archives at Peebles Island, Office of Historic Preservation.

Subsequent to the student work, the professional team from the NY State Bureau of Historic Preservation, directed by Huey, returned to the site for two weeks to further detail the excavations.  Two features considered to be of great archeological significance studies during this latter phase are the 18th century cobblestone courtyard (the only extant example unearthed in the Northeast) and the well-preserved 17th century wooden basement stairway uncovered at the site of the presumed Arent Van Curler house found southwest of the main Schuyler house.

Click here to view:
A report on the project entitled "Archeology at the Schuyler Flatts: 1971-1974."
An article on wooden cellar excavations also by Huey entitled           which appeared in          

 

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