| E.G. Squier | Aborignal Monuments | Table of Contents |

ScienceViews Preface to
Aboriginal Monuments of the State of New York

ScienceViews is pleased to release E.G. Squier's monumental work Aboriginal Monuments of the State of New York published in the Smithsonian Contributions to Knowledge, Vol. II.

Unlike ancient sites in the southwest and Mesoamerica where stone was extensively used for building, the ancient north American Indians built their villages out of wood. These structures have decomposed long ago leaving very few traces. The archaeological evidences that remain include mounds, artifacts, human remains, and rock enclosures, but most of these were destroyed as colonists spread out across the land and claimed it for themselves. Ancient earthworks were plowed under and rock monuments became a source of stone for construction by the new inhabitants. Even during the time Squier was preparing his surveys in New York, a number of sites had already been destroyed. In some instances Squire used the memory of the older inhabitants to document sites that had vanished.

E.G. Squier has provided an invaluable glimpse of a long lost culture. Not all the conclusions Squier makes are accurate, but what he observed and surveyed is priceless. It is important to remember that Squier did not have use of dating techniques that we have today. He erroneously states that these sites were historic rather than prehistoric. He happened to be alone on this assessment. Other scholars of his time dated many of these sites back to antiquity. Even the Native Indians living in the region had no recollection as to who had created these fortifications. In some of Squires surveys the archaeological record was of historic origin. In other instances the archaeological record became very confused as historic inhabitants had been living on the top of prehistoric sites.

Notes About This Edition

The authors of ScienceViews obtained an original edition of the Smithsonian Contributions to Knowledge. The book was photographed with a Canon 5D Mark II. Special care was taken with all the plates and illustrations. The text was recovered through Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology. OCR is an inexact science and errors occur. The text was carefully proofed to make sure of its accuracy; however, some errors may still be present. If you find any mistakes, please let us know. ScienceViews has retained the content as Squier presented it with the following exceptions.

  1. Page numbers were not retained. In the electronic age, it is not necessary.
  2. Hyphenations at the end of the lines were removed and the words joined together.
  3. Squier originally placed all the plates at the end of the publication. This edition inserts them at the appropriate place in the text.
  4. Color has been added to a number of the plates to enhance their visual nature and value.
  5. The plates use measurements such as 1 inch equals 200 feet. In the digital photo age measurements such as these have little meaning. We have taken the liberty to add measurement bars that show distance.
  6. A new table of contents has been created.
  7. The text has been retained as Squier wrote it, but in some instances we may add notes or clarifications. In these instances the text will be colored brown.

Notes About Copyright

Any work in the USA older than 1923 is automatically in the public domain. That means Squier's text and illustrations are in the public domain and can be freely used. Our presentation of his work is copyrighted and any derivatives of his illustrations where we have added value is copyrighted. We freely grant students and teachers the right to use these materials in their classroom, but commercial for-profit use requires permission.

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