Red Ink and Rewrites Too

Duplicates online comments, to keep track.

New York State Museum Archaeology Programs Targeted

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I have recently learned that the New York State Education Department and the New York State Museum are effectively gutting their century plus old archaeology program. State Archaeologist; curator of archaeology; and the curator of historic archaeology, were all served layoff notices effective in three weeks unless their union negotiates a contract settlement. I have heard that NY State Museum administration was not consulted on the layoff plan nor were they informed until the layoff notices were served.

I am sort of a lurking archaeologist, my BA degree in anthropology as well as doctoral prep, though archaeology providing the wherewithal mostly to pursue higher education and thought to elaborate on some “connections” in the NY State Archaeology program I’ve happened across on which someone else might expand.

In “The NY Times” article “Edmund Carpenter, Restless Scholar, Dies at 88” (July 8, 2011 http://nyti.ms/nC6jW5) he an “…archaeologist and anthropologist who, impatient with traditional boundaries between disciplines, did groundbreaking work in anthropological filmmaking and ethnomusicology and, with his friend Marshall McLuhan, laid the foundations of modern media studies, died on July 1 in Southampton, N.Y. He was 88.”

It also refers: “At 13 he met Arthur C. Parker, a Seneca anthropologist and director of the Rochester Museum and Science Center, who invited him to take part in excavations of prehistoric Iroquoian sites.” Arthur C. Parker (Seneca “snow snake” a North Woods winter game) would become one of New York’s important State Archaeologists, whose records we still use to decide the likelihood of prehistoric and historic resources that require additional protection.

I was quite surprised to learn that Mr. Parker’s sister, “Birdie” Parker also a noted anthropologist of native materials and ethnology was married to “Iron Eyes Cody” the actor who played many native roles in the Hollywood films, and left a lasting impression on keeping America clean by shedding a tear on camera as a public service announcement. In many films (i.e. Crazy Horse in the film “Sitting Bull”) I happened to meet him at a Choctaw Pow-wow in 1979 when he was grieving for his wife, who had just passed on.

It seems a shame that New York’s heritage, which is more often than not connected to the world outside New York, would be jeopardized by what many with many millions today, would see as a small sum of funds used for the greater good, its people.

Not necessarily the views of my employers. – posted to histarch

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Written by georgejmyersjr

07/09/2011 at 8:15 pm

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