Archive for March 2007
Fort Drum Ruins Training
“Unusual features have been built in the Fort Drum military installation near Watertown, NY. In an effort to train soldiers and pilots to recognize such features as cemeteries and ancient ruins, archaeologist Laurie Rush used Defense Department funding to build a Muslim cemetery and a mound of ruins on one of the Army’s ranges. The project began when Rush learned of the defiling of Babylon in 2003 by invading U.S. Marines who built a helicopter pad on the ruins of the ancient city, destroyed a 2,600-year-old brick road, and filled sandbags with archaeological fragments. A veteran pilot observing the new “ruins” at Fort Drum said they looked like the ones over there. The project will give pilots firsthand experience in recognizing and identifying these kinds of sites from the air.”
Reported by Lois Feister in the “Current Research” section of the “Council for Northeast Historical Archaeology Newsletter” (p. 14 March 2007, Number 66) of which I have been a member of for 25 years or more, recently so noted. It’s next meeting, October 26-28, 2007 will be in Buffalo, New York, “Dubbed the “Queen City” for its prominence as a 19th century Great Lakes port, the Buffalo region is noted for its French, British, and American colonial past as well as its 19th and 20th century architecture and industrial history” (same source).
Ed. – Envirosphere, with offices then in a World Trade Center tower (on the 90th of three or four floors it, a part of the Texas-based Ebasco, had occupied before moving to East Orange, NJ) did the original archaeological survey in 1983 that I was hired for. The US Army 10th Mountain Division has since moved permanently there. There were interesting bog iron foundries there and a large dairy industry. A-10s used to fly there often for range practice. (April 1, 2007 the end of New York State’s fiscal year)
Once upon a time I was reading “The Philippines of Yesteryears” written by a judge and interested in the law section at the back, especially since a fairly large minority of Filipinos are Muslim, probably has to do with the pan-Indian Ocean trade in dhows in monsoonal seasonal winds, from the east coast of Africa to Indonesia and back (or for other treks see “Tiger Bell” distribution research table here) and amazed that under Muslim law a woman to be accused of adultery and divorced required three witnesses to the fact of the “affair”. Unfortunately, I don’t think this bit of law applies to Muslims everywhere, as two women in the Sudan, according to Amnesty International, one in jail one with a child, were convicted of adultery under Sudan’s 1991 Penal Code. Sex outside of marriage when the offender is married (Muhsan) carries the penalty of being stoned to death, at anytime. Sex outside of marriage when the offender is not married (non-muhsan) is punished with 100 lashes! Were there witnesses? Apparently not even the same language was used. No wonder one would want to escape an arranged marriage, it might have extreme and dire consequences for the unhappy couple! Some law! “Darfari women at risk of being stoned to death for adultery.” …Sudan Tribune article…
I am worried about the Presidency. At first I thought well, so he was a little rough with the woman West Point cadet graduating he was taped sort of pushing. Then he slammed into the Scottish policeman on his bicycle at the G8 summit putting that guy out of work, according to the Scotsman, for many weeks (14?). Now there’s this very short video where he walks behind the sitting PM of Germany and digs his hands in around her neck in her shoulders before getting to his own seat at the table with many other world leaders. Then I heard he was drinking and referring crudely to the staff and said of his wife she’s a “see you next Tuesday” overheard by others. They should take the Tex-Mex Chex mix away until he stops, perhaps. Anyway so I’ve seen. I grew up in a Republican stronghold on Long Island, Brookhaven Town (largest in area in NY) where I won a lottery for a summer part-time parks job in 1976, mostly raking the rocks out of the bar league softball field for night-games in North Bellport.
I was myself very skeptical of the “Wanderer” story, I thought maybe folklore, a large yacht built in Setauket, NY outfitted with water tanks for a trans-Atlantic voyage in the adjacent harbor, Port Jefferson, NY and said to have left in 1858 and landed on Jekyll Island, Georgia in 1858, (Wikipedia) discharging hundreds of Africans into slavery. I thought it was folklore myself, perhaps. Then I found, an ascendant was arguing with the wording on the bronze plaque back in the early 1960s with the National Parks Service (a large iron cauldron is there where they were first fed, in the 1930s cited as a “playground of the rich”) and a university in Georgia who had its built origin in Port Jefferson, which he successfully had changed, a William Minuse.
More recently I read on City Island, Bronx, NY in their nautically oriented public library, that the British Navy as part of a slavery blockade, actually boarded it and found a wonderful luxury yacht that couldn’t possibly be used to that end. Well apparently it was, left the blockade and was very fast. I think I read somewhere that maple syrup was mixed with the water to “feed” the human cargo on these infamous boats or ships that a database has in known use until 1863. “Wanderer” was used as a letter packet, very fast judging from the one painting of “her” in possession of the Port Jeff Yacht Club (if it still exists very small almost like “everyman’s yacht club”) and sunk in the “fruit trade” off of Christopher Columbus’ named point “Cape Maysi” just north of Guantanamo, Cuba. I’d like to thank those that have done the research that help keep the story true and “blue” and helped me tell it. What was that Louisiana cotton merchant thinking!
At the New Windsor Cantonment, near Newburgh, NY (Newburgh is where a conspiracy to make George Washington “king” by his officers was thwarted by him, according to Senator Clinton in the press last year there reviewing re-enactors) there were cannons on exhibit, all of New York State’s SHPO collection said Paul Huey of the NY Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.
The cantonment was kept after the Jay Treaty just in case it was not honored and George Washington asked the troops to remain through the winter. It was just in the news as a new “Purple Heart” historical center opened, (as they were awarded there though the first awarded I read in New York City) and dedicated by then Commissioner Bernadette Castro, furniture heiress, once a Republican candidate for the US Senate who ran against Democrat Senator Patrick Moynihan. I once camped there in a pup tent between Christmas and New Years and it went to 9F. Thousands of troops and family were once there and parts of the cabins and features investigated both using “standard” archaeology and molecular archaeology. One of the cabins was actually found “off-site” and moved into the now interpretative center, according to Paul Huey, once just a campground. Anyway that’s where the cannons were last I know.
Here the very real Governors Island in New York City, which was offered to us for $1 from the former President William Clinton who now resides in Chappaqua, NY with his wife, NY State’s US Senator Hillary Clinton. The fort, which I believe has no cannons, Fort Jay is named after the first US Supreme Court Justice John Jay who also drew up the treaty ending the Revolutionary War with Great Britain.
I worked in the geo-archaeology of the “original” island for four days testing near the fort. There are burials from the Revolutionary era there too that no one knew about, once within sight of the World Trade Center towers I stopped at once, on an almost empty island, which it still is today, though now the “top” is controlled by the National Parks Service, the rest, made from landfilling is for the city to decide what to do with.
Its former ferry captain (of the “Swivel”) told me, when I met him by chance, and his Irish Wolfhound, near Miller Field on Staten Island, digging shovel test holes for an Army Corps of Engineers flood control study, that the D-Day invasion plans were kept in a safe in the small “mansion” in the NE corner of the island.
Chestnuts still grow on “Nutting Island” where once the early governors of the colony of New York lived, and John Peter Zenger arrived as a child of 10 from the German Palatine, commemorated on a “swivel gun” monument on the southern end of the island. He helped establish “freedom of the press” another National Parks Service site on the green that had the election that started the trial commemorates. It’s at St. Pauls Church, in Eastchester, on the border of New York City in Westchester County, with part of its graveyard in the Borough of the Bronx.
David Bowie curates this NYC festival featuring bands, films, and art. Tickets go on sale March 30th. There’s a link to him and Maryanne Faithful singing “I Got You Babe” on the BBC (?) in 1973 that’s a hoot.