I found myself in Johnstown, New York, last weekend when I had the chance to go to the 95th annual conference of the New York State Archaeological Association with dear friends. I attended this conference last year as well, which was located in the Catskills. Because of my great experience last year, I was really looking forward to this one as well.
I have always loved old things, but I didn’t expect to find myself surrounded by art at the conference. It never occurred to me that archaeologists were also accomplished artists, or I should say, used to be accomplished artists. Sadly, with the use of the new technology of digital cameras, the old art of drawing is quickly becoming obsolete.
Of the 30 lectures given at the conference, all but one was PowerPoint presentations from digital pictures. The one exception was slides; however they were also of photos. It wasn’t until I got home and my girlfriend and I started digging through old records from the 1950s and 1960s that I found intricate drawings of Indian relics found around my house by a local archaeology chapter. I was amazed by the detailed drawings of these objects.
Thousands of years before my family left Massachusetts, and trekked over a much-used Indian Trail, Indians had been here in Upstate New York. The proof is in what they left. We know where to locate their longhouses, flints, cooking pots and utensils, which keep springing up out of the ground. Their history is intricately detailed in the archeological drawings, which inspires me to do more Americana art to showcase our beautiful region.
With the use of a digital camera, it could be that the drawings of the artifacts themselves that could end up as lost history.
Wishful Traveler Gallery
, a fine art online gallery