In association with the New York Army National Guard’s Integrated Cultural Resource Management Plan, The Louis Berger Group completed archaeological investigations of proposed improvements to the Kingston Armory in the Town of Kingston, Ulster County, NY. The proposed activities involved the construction of a new operational maintenance shop; a new facility sign; new fencing, lighting, and storm sewers; a detention basin for runoff control; and new paving. We identified one prehistoric archaeological site, the Kingston Armory Site.
Located along a high bluff overlooking Esopus Creek, the site was found within sandy soils developed in Late Pleistocene glacial lake deposits. Our investigations revealed a range of Archaic occupations at the site from 5260 to 830 BC. LBG recovered nearly 80,000 prehistoric artifacts and identified 60 features. Our cultural resource specialists were able to reconstruct prehistoric dietary practices, food storage techniques, and local forest composition based on botanical materials recovered from flotation samples. We also identified evidence of historic-era use of the property, including a small number of trash pits dating to the early 20th century, as well as pits and postholes associated with the National Guard use of the property throughout the mid- and late 20th century.
The size and scope of the site provided a unique challenge within the context of cultural resource management. Like many facilities owned or administered by the National Guard, the Kingston Armory includes a relatively large and minimally developed landscape. The lessons learned during the Kingston Armory Site investigations inform the management of large archaeological sites on similar properties. As opposed to approaching these projects with a standard sequence of investigative techniques, more inclusive approaches and methods were used during the earliest stages of the investigation to help inform the process of long-term management of archaeological resources.