On Saturday, September 19th, 2015 at 2:00 PM, The History Center in Tompkins County hosted Professor Kurt Jordan for his presentation “Destroyed, Forgotten, Never Noted: Ithaca’s Hidden Indigenous History.” Kurt A. Jordan is an Associate Professor of Anthropology and American Indian Studies at Cornell University. His research centers on the archaeology and history of Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) peoples, emphasizing the settlement patterns, housing, and economies of 17th and 18th century Senecas.
Many observers have noted that little is understood about the history of indigenous peoples in the Ithaca area. This presentation both describes why this is the case, and summarizes what is known. Starting with the earliest American settlers, past Ithacans took a cavalier attitude toward the indigenous archaeological record. Mingling curiosity with disrespect for indigenous heritage, Ithacans documented almost nothing as the archaeological record was destroyed. Despite this sordid history, quite a bit can be gleaned about how the Cayugas and their allies and ancestors dwelled on these lands.
Jordan has conducted archaeological fieldwork in collaboration with members of the Seneca Nation of Indians since 1999. His first book, The Seneca Restoration, 1715-1754: An Iroquois Local Political Economy, was published by the University Press of Florida in 2008.
Professor Jordan’s lecture was reported in the Cornell Chronicle on September 21, 2015.
The History Center in Tompkins County
401 E. State St. #100
Ithaca, NY 14850