Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Nicholas Bellantoni and Timothy Ives

Field of Study



Master of Arts

Open Access

Campus Access


The archaeological record of the greater New York City metropolitan area has been poorly understood due to extensive urban development and poor documentation of large numbers of sites investigated during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Excavations at the Old Place Neck Site at Staten Island, New York represent one of the largest, systematic excavations of a pre-contact archaeological site in the study area, and have contributed important information to the archaeological record of the lower Hudson Valley. Excavations revealed the presence of spatially and chronologically separate site components and showed that the site was most intensively used by generalized hunter-gatherers during the Archaic and Early Woodland periods. Analyses showed that the Middle and Late Archaic components represented brief occupations related to collection of wetland plants and hunting, while later Transitional Archaic and Early Woodland components were repeatedly occupied short-term seasonal camps. Important findings from the site include rare evidence of fishing; early evidence of plant processing and consumption; and a pattern of seasonal occupations largely confined to the fall months. Comparison of the site to other known sites demonstrates consistency with a pattern of short-duration settlements in an area whose estuarine resources could have easily support larger, longer-duration occupations. A hypothesis is proposed that the pattern of short term settlement may indicate that the study area represent a territorial boundary zone of shared use by multiple forager groups who may not have established longer term settlements in the area to avoid intergroup conflicts.

Major Advisor

Kevin McBride