Life Before New Amsterdam
Guest Curator, Eugene J Boesch Phd., RPA, Archaeologist
The prehistory of New York City was a vibrant and complex period which archaeologists are still striving to understand. For almost 14,000 years, Native Americans adapted to changing environments, from the cold of the Ice Age followed by gradual warming over the millennia and the appearance of our modern day climate about 4,000 years ago. Native Americans reacted to the new circumstances, changing the way they lived, building different types of housing and making new tools. Over time, they changed their relationship to the land, occupying new areas and eating different foods that appeared with the changing climes. These artifacts highlight this long period. Please see the essay to the left for more information.
Suggestions for further reading:
Cantwell, Anne-Marie Cantwell and Diana diZerega Wall, Unearthing Gotham: The Archaeology of New York City, Yale University Press, 2001.
Dunn, Shirley, The Mohicans and Their Land 1609-1730, Purple Mountain Press, 1994.
Grumet, Robert, First Manhattans: A History of the Indians of Greater New York, University of Oklahoma Press, 2011.
Ruttenber, E.M. History of the Indian Tribes of Greater New York, Hope Farm Press, 1992 printing of 1872 volume.
Salmon, Julian H, Indians of the Lower Hudson Region, Historical Society of Rockland County, 1982.
Strong, John, The Algonquian Peoples of Long Island from Earliest Times to 1700, Empire State Books, 2000.