Lewis Henry Morgan Chapter Sponsored Digs

L. H. Morgan Chapter Summer Dig

Season 2019: August 10-11 and August 17-18

The Tram Site, near Lima, NY

The chapter is preparing for the summer dig at Tram which will take place August 10/11 and 17/18.

Registration Form for Tram Summer Excavation

This summer the Morgan Chapter returns to the Tram Site. The Tram Site (Hne 6-4) is that of a large, palisaded Seneca Iroquois village of an estimated 800 to 1000 persons residing there from about A.D. 1580 to 1595, a period when the Seneca were on the brink of cultural change. They were just beginning to acquire small amounts of exotic European goods such as glass beads, iron tools and brass kettles, although probably not yet meeting European traders face to face. Unbeknownst to anyone at the time, of course, was the impact that Europeans and the goods they would supply in exchange for furs would eventually have on the traditional Seneca way of life and culture.

Traces of the palisade enclosure (i.e., oval ditch and embankments) still remained when a Smithsonian survey of the site was undertaken by Ephraim Squier around 1850, but these have now all but disappeared. Although we know a great deal about the material culture of these people through excavations that have taken place at the site over the last 160+ years, the extent of the village and the size and distribution of the residential structures in it remain open to question. There is slight evidence that the palisade may have been repositioned—either to expand or contract the size of the village, at some point in its history. These questions regarding the site’s settlement pattern will represent the focus of this year’s Morgan Chapter excavations.

For more information contact pipesml@aol.com.


Burning Springs Dig Morgan Chapter

The Tram Site

This summer the Morgan Chapter returns to the Tram Site. The Tram Site (Hne 6-4) is that of a large, palisaded Seneca Iroquois village of an estimated 800 to 1000 persons residing there from about A.D. 1580 to 1595, a period when the Seneca were on the brink of cultural change.

More info

Burning Springs Site Photo 8

Burning Springs Site

Beginning in 2010 the Lewis Henry Morgan Chapter has sponsored a fieldwork program at the site of Burning Springs. During the 17th century, the Seneca Iroquois brought the French explorer, LaSalle to Burning Springs and set the spring on fire as a demonstration.

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Belcher Site Photo 18

Belcher Site

The Belcher Site was an Iroquois village habitation site on a high terrace of Honeoye Outlet in the town of Richmond, Ontario County. The village was supposedly located on a naturally defensible location with extensive side hill refuse dumps.

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Mill Site Photo 1

The Mill Site

The site of the mill is located in South Bristol and consists of two foundations, and traces of the mill race and pond. The chapter conducted a one day cleanup of the site and intends to return to survey the area more thoroughly.

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Alva Reed Photo 1

The Alva Reed Site

The Alva Reed site is in the township of Richmond. This small hilltop settlement, possibly dating to the late 16th century, may have been a satellite to the Culberston site.

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