The New York State Archaeological Association (NYSAA) is composed of avocational and professional archaeologists primarily within New York State, though some of its members can be found throughout the world. NYSAA stands to promote archaeological and historical study, and research covering the artifacts, rites, customs, beliefs and other phases of the lives and cultures of the American Indian occupants of New York State up to and including their contact with the Europeans. Recently, the Association has expanded its focus to include research upon Euro-American archaeological sites post-dating European Contact.
The NYSAA was founded in Rochester, New York in 1916 by principal co-founder Arthur C. Parker. Parker (April 5, 1881 – January 1, 1955) was an American archaeologist who was of Seneca Iroquois and Scots-English decent who was an expert on American Indian culture 1. Before becoming the director of the Rochester Museum and Science Center, he served seventeen years as the New York State Museum‘s first full-time archaeologist and ethnologist. At the Rochester Museum, he helped build collections and promote research of the Genesee region2. It was during this period he coins the phrase “museology,” and promoted museums as the “poor man’s university.”
The New York State Archaeological Association’s founding chapter was the Lewis H. Morgan Chapter named after prominent Rochesterian, and the ”Father of American Anthropology.” There are now 16 regional chapters of the Association throughout New York State. Each of the chapters holds monthly meetings where they present programs related to American and occasionally European archaeology. Some of the chapters even conduct their own fieldwork, encouraging member and volunteer participation. New York State archaeology is still very much alive.
The NYSAA publishes a bulletin and journal of the New York State Archaeological Association, and sponsors an annual meeting in the spring of each year. Most of the publications can be found under the Publications page. Find your local chapter here.