Papscanee Island: Sacred Land of the Mohican Nation

Stockbridge-Munsee Community

The Indigenous peoples of the upper Hudson Valley are the Mohican people, derived from their name for the Hudson River, the Mahhicannituck, the “waters that are never still.” Today known as the Stockbridge-Munsee Community, the Tribal Nation is based in Wisconsin, far from their original homelands. However, the Stockbridge-Munsee Community maintains a close connection to its cultural sites.

One such important site is Papscanee Island, an island in the Hudson River just south of Albany. The entire island is nominated for the National Register of Historic Places due to its Mohican cultural significance.  It is perhaps the best preserved known late woodland Native village site in New York.

Installation of the National Grid E-37 Pipeline threatens to negatively impact the rich historic and cultural resources that Papscanee Island represents for the Tribe today. The Stockbridge-Munsee Community Tribal Historic Preservation Office is concerned about this rapid development and how it may impact the Island’s rich cultural heritage.

NYS Museum – Women of Science:Non-Destructive Archaeological Surveys, Susan Winchell-Sweeney & Kristin O’Connell

Women of Science: Non-Destructive Archaeological Surveys, Susan Winchell-Sweeney & Kristin O’Connell

Archaeology is an important tool when investigating the lives of enslaved people living in the Hudson Valley. Discover how the archaeological remains of a house constructed by Volkert P. Douw, a prominent politician during the mid- to late- 1700s, provide insight into the individuals that may have occupied the site including people enslaved by Douw in the 18th century. As part of a larger project to study the impact of slavery in the Hudson Valley, the New York State Museum, in collaboration with the Open Space Institute and Stockbridge-Munsee Mohican Tribal Preservation Office, undertook both a controlled surface artifact collection and a magnetic susceptibility (MS) survey at the Douw Site. MS is a non-invasive geophysical technique that is becoming increasing more popular for archaeological investigations in the United States

Women of Science: Non-Destructive Archaeological Surveys, Susan Winchell-Sweeney & Kristin O’Connell