This talk provides a long-term overview of the Indigenous peoples of the Finger Lakes region from an archaeological perspective. Focusing on the Haudenosaunee (or Six Nations Iroquois) and their ancestors, this talk uses archaeological evidence to discuss long-term changes in material culture, settlement, subsistence, and trade; as well as Indigenous responses to European and American colonization. Multiple archaeological sites located around Cayuga Lake are presented to illustrate some of the many Indigenous occupations of this region.
Samantha Sanft is a postdoctoral associate at Cornell University where she specializes in the archaeology of North American Indigenous groups and community-engaged research. She completed her Ph.D. in anthropology with a minor in American Indian and Indigenous studies at Cornell in 2021. Her work analyzes the properties, timing, and distribution of nonlocal materials across the fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Haudenosaunee homeland to reassess exchange networks and highlight the role of small group agency in the past.
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