Utica College to Host Major Archaeology Conference

Oct 18, 2011, 13:15 ET from Utica College

Only Conference in Nation to Take Place on National Archaeology Day

UTICA, N.Y., Oct. 18, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Across the United States, the Archaeological Institute of America has designated Oct. 22 as the first-ever National Archaeology Day to raise awareness of this exciting field and highlight our nation's cultural and material heritage.

On National Archaeology Day, the AIA will also unveil a new map layer for Google Earth that features some of the most popular archaeological sites in the U.S. and Canada.

As part of this celebration, Utica College will host the 45th annual conference of the Council for Northeast Historical Archaeology (CNEHA) Oct. 21-23 at the historic Hotel Utica – the only archaeological conference to take place in the nation on National Archaeology Day.

The CNEHA conference brings together both archaeological professionals and enthusiasts to encourage and advance the collection, preservation, and dissemination of knowledge derived from archaeology. Approximately 125 historical archaeologists are expected to attend.

Dr. Thomas Crist, co-chair of the conference and professor at UC, believes Utica is a terrific location to hold this event. "The Utica area is rich in historical sites, world-class museums, and wonderful Adirondack scenery."

This year's conference includes numerous regional events throughout the weekend. On Friday, there are field trips to several of the area's historic locations, including Fort Stanwix, Cooperstown, the Oneida Community Mansion House and the Oneida Indian Nation's Cultural Center.

Between 3 and 5 p.m. at the Hotel Utica's Crystal Ballroom, local archaeologists and historians will make presentations on some of upstate New York's most important sites, preservation, and heritage tourism. These include the Harriet Tubman House in Auburn, the abolitionist movement and Underground Railroad in Utica, the Oneida Indian Nation's role in the region's history, and the Oneida County Historical Society. These presentations are free and open to the public.

Also on Friday, UC will host a workshop on bioarchaeology, the forensic study of human skeletal remains from archaeological sites, at the Anthropology Laboratory on campus.

A welcome reception will take place Friday evening at the F.X. Matt Brewery from 6 to 8 p.m., where conference attendees can socialize and enjoy a range of Saranac beverages.

Saturday features several events at the Hotel Utica including the presentation of more than 50 research papers written by professionals and students of archaeology.

Among the most interesting presentations will be a paper by military archaeologist Dan Sivilich, who will discuss the different types of ammunition discovered in the remains of an 18th century "mystery ship" found last year beneath the World Trade Center reconstruction site. Also, students from Universite Laval in Canada will present a poster regarding the earliest archaeological evidence of European pests brought to North America based on insect remains found in a 17th century well at Jamestown, Virginia, site of the first permanent English colony in the New World.

The last of the presentations will be conducted Sunday morning and the conference will conclude at 1 p.m.

For more information about the conference and the free presentations on Friday, visit the Utica College website at www.utica.edu/cneha2011 or contact Dr. Thomas Crist at (315) 792-3390 or Dr. Helen Blouet, conference co-chair, at (315) 223-2468.

About Utica CollegeUtica College, founded in 1946, is a comprehensive private institution offering bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees. The College, located in upstate central New York, approximately 90 miles west of Albany and 50 miles east of Syracuse, currently enrolls over 3,700 students in 37 undergraduate majors, 27 minors, 22 master's and two doctoral degree programs.

Contact: Christine Leogrande, Director of Media Relations, (315) 223-2519 cleogrande@utica.edu

SOURCE Utica College