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Artifacts found near Long Lake by summer vacationers in the 1960's and 70's.  Photo: Andy Flynn
Artifacts found near Long Lake by summer vacationers in the 1960's and 70's. Photo: Andy Flynn

Adirondack Attic: Native American artifacts

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Andy Flynn visits the Adirondack Museum for a closer look at Native American artifacts -- pottery and arrowheads -- found near Long Lake, for this month's edition of "The Adirondack Attic."

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Reported by

Andy Flynn
Adirondack Correspondent

Adirondack Museum Conservator and collections manager, Doreen Alessi-Holmes, said the artifacts were discovered around Long Lake in the 60s and 70s. A summer resident wrote a letter to explain how she found the pottery and arrowheads:

“My father and I were both avid hunters of these pieces. I was a young child and always thought of the pottery as treasure. Many hours were spent in the shallow water on the beach, dig and sifting with my plastic pale and shovel set.”

The woman’s mother mounted the arrowheads and bits of pottery on a piece of wood. Some pieces of pottery appear to be from the same pot, says Alessi-Holmes, but there are also “a number of different vessel that were made from different clays at different times.” There are several arrowheads, with a few being full, unbroken specimens.

Although Alessi-Holmes says she is not a specialist, she believes that these artifacts show “decades or centuries of native American peoples coming to the Adirondacks.” The remnants of broken material left behind get buried, and then later, are unearthed. She hopes research can be done on the pieces to learn more about them and their relations to each other.

“This tells us that there was definitely Native American usage in this general, in this local area in Long Lake. It would possibly be able to tell us the range of dates that the area was used, if we had the technology to date the pottery. But it also tells us about summer days in the 1960s and the 1970s, playing in the sun, on the beach, and finding treasure.

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