Category Archives: NYSAA lectures

NYSAA Talk – Cynthia Kocik

On October 1, 2015, Cynthia Kocik (Cornell University Dendrochronology Laboratory and CIAMS alumna) will present “Beams and Boards: Dating Historic Structures in New York State through Dendrochronology” at the monthly NYSAA meeting.

The meeting will take place at 6:30 p.m. at the Center for Natural Sciences (Ithaca College), room 208.

Driving directions:

From the main entrance of Ithaca College on Route 96B, proceed 3/4 around Alumni Circle and turn onto Grant Egbert Blvd.  Drive straight until you see a sign for Textor Circle.  Turn right on Textor Circle, then turn left twice into Blue Lot O.  Walk up the outdoor stairs alongside the Park School.  CNS is a large red brick building on your right.  Walk under the covered walkway to the entrance on your right.  Go through the double glass doors and up the stairs immediately to your left to 208.

Paula Turkon, Mexican Dendrochronology

Turkon dendro MexicoNYSAA: Paula Turkon (Ithaca College), “Dendrochronology in Mesoamerican Archaeology: Preliminary Findings from Northwestern Mexico.” Thursday, May 7th, 2015, at 6:30 pm in room 208 of the Center for Natural Sciences at Ithaca College. The research is a cooperative effort involving Paula Turkon (Ithaca College), Sturt Manning (Cornell University), and Carol Griggs (Cornell University). Continue reading

Michael Malpass on Middle Horizon Andean Chronology

New York State Archaeological Association (NYSAA): Michael A. Malpass (Anthropology, Ithaca College), “The Middle Horizon Site of Sonay: New Radiocarbon Dates (!) and Interpretations (?)”  ,  Thursday, April 2 ant 6:30 pm in room 208 of the Center for Natural Sciences at Ithaca College. 

Abstract: Wari is a state-level society that existed throughout the central and south central Andes during the Middle Horizon(ca 600-1000 C.E.) of the Andean chronological scheme. Sonay is considered to be a small Wari center in southern Peru. It consists of an orthogonal compound with very few artifacts. In the 1990s, it was dated to the late Middle Horizon by two calibrated dates in the tenth century and architectural similarities to other Wari sites. However, the late dates and absence of good Wari ceramics was, and is, an issue. Colleagues have suggested the site might represent an attempt by a later local lord to copy Wari material culture in order to improve her or his status. Two new dates were obtained for the site last year and will be discussed along with the assessment of which of the earlier interpretations is correct. The broader issue to be addressed is how much and what kind of data are needed to make cultural affiliations? Are some data types given preference over others?


NYSAA: Jeff Zorn, Storage Pits and the State in Iron Age Israel

Displaying Standing on Hole-y Ground.jpgNew York State Archaeological Association (NYSAA) presents Jeff Zorn (Cornell University):  “Standing on Hole-y Ground: Storage Pits at Tell en-Naṣbeh and the Role of the State.” 
Tell en-Naṣbeh, probably biblical Mizpah of Benjamin, was excavated by W. F. Badè of Pacific School of Religion in five seasons between 1926 and 1935. About two-thirds of the 3.2 hectare/8 acre site was uncovered, providing an almost unparalleled example of settlement planning at a mid-size, fortified, rural Israelite town of the Iron Age. A unique and enigmatic feature of the site is a band of ca. 60 storage pits located around the southern periphery of the site, just inside the town’s massive fortifications. This talk explores whether these pits represent private or public storage (initiated by the Judean monarchy) and suggests that the evidence supports the latter theory.
Thursday, March 5 at 6:30 pm, 208 Center for Natural Sciences Bldg. Ithaca College. 

NYSAA: J. Muller, child pathology in 19th c. poorhouse cemetery

Jennifer L Muller (Department of Anthropology, Ithaca College) gives a New York State Archaeological Association (NYSAA) lecture, “Nineteenth century perceptions of morality and disability: impacts on mortuary context and pathology among the children of the Erie County Poorhouse cemetery (1851-1913),” Thurs Feb 5, 6:30 at CNS 208, Ithaca College.  Continue reading

Roald Hoffmann, Protochemistries are a bridge

NYSAA LectureNobel prize-winner Roald Hoffmann (Dept. Chemistry, Cornell)speaks on the topic “Protochemistries are a Bridge.” Thursday, December 4, at 6:30 pm in Room 208 of Ithaca College’s Center for Natural Sciences. The talk is free and open to the public, so please bring friends and pass the word along to anyone you think might be interested! 

People did chemistry, darn good chemistry too, before there were ever chemists. For transformations of matter are inherent in the human condition. In winning metals from their ores, using them in weapons and decorative objects, in preparing and preserving food, in cosmetics, medicines, ceramics, in tanning leather, in dyes, in cleansing and mummification, craftsmen and women in every culture came up with some superb experimental chemistry. Stories of protochemistry, some of which I will relate, to this day form a natural bridge between chemists and nonchemists , between chemistry and culture. 

A. Cohen Suarez, “Beyond the Frame: Murals of the Colonial Andes in Context.”

Dear Members and Friends of the Finger Lakes NYSAA Chapter,

 Our next NYSAA meeting and lecture will be Thursday, November 6, at 6:30 pm in Room 208 of Ithaca College’s Center for Natural Sciences.  Our speaker will be Ananda Cohen Suarez (History of Art, Cornell), who will present “Beyond the Frame: Murals of the Colonial Andes in Context.”


Mural painting served as one of the earliest forms of religious artistic expression during the period of Spanish colonial rule (1532-1824). Religious murals served as important tools in the evangelization of non-literate Andean peoples; didactic depictions of key doctrinal images facilitated the transmission of Christianity without recourse to the written word. This presentation draws on seven years of field and archival research and will focus on a series of case studies of 17th and 18th-century murals located in rural parish churches in the Cuzco region of Peru. In much of the current scholarly literature on painting in colonial Peru, murals are often treated as synonymous with paintings on canvas. Print publications further exploit this artificial conflation through the strategic cropping of photographs of murals within their respective spatial environments into neat squares and rectangles that assign them artificial borders and frames. This presentation re-situates colonial murals within their respective geographic, historical, and cultural contexts to understand their role as both persuasive expressions of the Catholic faith and as visual archives poised to communicate local beliefs and concepts.


Upcoming NYSAA talks:

December 4, 2014: Roald Hoffmann (Chemistry, Cornell): Protochemistries are a bridge

February 5, 2015: Jennifer Muller (Dept. Anthropology, Ithaca College): title TBA (Bioarchaeology of the poor and disenfranchised)

Other local talks of archaeological interest can be found on the CIAMS website:

A always, please let me know if you no longer wish to receive notices from the FLC NYSAA, or if you need a ride to next Thursday’s talk.


Laura W. Johnson-Kelly
President, Finger Lakes Chapter of the NY State Archaeological Association
Collection Manager and Head Conservator/Photographer
The Jonathan and Jeannette Rosen
Cuneiform Tablet Conservation Laboratory
Cornell University
726 University Avenue, Rm 103
Ithaca, NY 14850-3995

NYSAA: Linah Ababneh, Palynology and archaeology in Jordan

palynologyfrom Laura Johnson-Kelly:] Dear Members and Friends of the Finger Lakes NYSAA Chapter,

 Our first talk of the Fall 2014 NYSAA archaeological lecture series will begin TOMORROW–Thursday, October 2, 2014 at 6:30 pm, in the Center for Natural Sciences room 208 at Ithaca College.  Our speaker is Linah Ababneh, Ph.D. (Department of Classics and the Dendrochronology Laboratory, Cornell University), who will speak on “Palynology and archaeology: a case study from the Azraq Basin, Jordan.”  Please spread the word to anyone you feel may be interested!  All are welcome to attend.

Summary: Archaeology is inherently interdisciplinary; it contributed to other studies such as botany (archaeobotany) and benefited from others e.g. geosciences (geoarchaeology). One case study from the Azraq basin in Jordan is presented. In the middle of the arid desert, this oasis served as a refuge for humans and animals for at least 100,000 years. We (as in the authors) used palynology to understand vegetation change in this oasis from the middle Holocene period until the current time. However, and based on the interpretations of pollen diagram, 14C dates, and aerial imagery we propose the possibility of a Nabataean wall that might have served as a local dam. The dam effect on the pollen record is presented by a silty layer that lacks any pollen assemblages. This is a phenomenon that is often associated with the establishment of water bodies’—regardless artificial or human made, or the lack of pollen preservation. Since pollen is well preserved through the sampled section, we suggest that a landscape management technique is likely the cause for the recorded lack of pollen at that particular layer. Further investigations are being carried in this particular site and other proximal ones on the effect of archaeological practices on pollen assemblages and ultimately changes in vegetation and landscape.

Upcoming NYSAA talks: 

November 6: Ananda Cohen Suarez (History of Art, Cornell): Colonial church murals near Cuzco, Peru

December 4: Roald Hoffmann (Chemistry, Cornell): Protochemistries are a bridge 

Other local talks of archaeological interest can be found on the CIAMS website:

As always, please let me know if you no longer wish to receive notices from the FLC NYSAA, or if you need a ride to Thursday’s talk.

Laura W. Johnson-Kelly
President, Finger Lakes Chapter of the NY State Archaeological Association