The most complete account of ancient man in the New York area ever published in one volume, this book traces a rich, 8000-year story of human prehistory. Beginning with the first known inhabitants, Paleo-Indian hunters who lived approximately 7000 B.C., the author gives a detailed chronological account of the complex of cultural units that have existed in the area, culminating in the Iroquois tribes encountered by the European colonists at the dawn of the seventeenth century.
All of the major archaeological sites in the region are described in detail and representative artifacts from all the major cultural units are illustrated in over 100 plates and drawings. The entire account is informed by the most recently obtained radio-carbon dates. In addition to giving much new, previously unpublished information, the author has synthesized all earlier published material and from this he has drawn as many inferences as the material affords regarding the nature of these early inhabitants, where they came from, and how they lived.
Each cultural unit is systematically described: its discovery and naming; its ecological and chronological setting; the physical characteristics of the related people; economy; housing and settlement pattern; dress and ornament; technology; transportation; trade relationships; warfare; esthetic and recreational activities; social and political organization; mortuary customs; and religio-magical and ceremonial customs.