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NY museum gets trove of colonial-era artifacts

Updated: 2017-09-12 08:02

ALBANY, New York - More than 100,000 artifacts from one of the earliest European settlements in North America are now housed at an upstate New York museum located near where the objects were discovered more than 40 years ago.

Officials at the New York State Museum in Albany say the items include 36,000 artifacts from the 1620s Dutch settlement known as Fort Orange and more than 80,000 others from the nearby former country estate of Philip Schuyler, the father-in-law of Alexander Hamilton.

The artifacts - mostly everyday objects such as coins, ceramics, tools and gun parts - have been transferred to the museum from the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, which had stored the items at various facilities since they were found during separate excavations conducted in the early 1970s.

The collection offers "a broad-brush outline of life in 17th-century New Netherland," the Dutch colony in North America, museum curator and historical archaeologist Michael Lucas says.

The artifacts are now stored in the downtown Albany museum that also houses the State Archives and Library, home to thousands of colonial Dutch documents, records and books. The museum already had a large collection of Dutch artifacts from Albany and Manhattan. Bringing the larger collection to the museum puts the bulk of New York's colonial Dutch history under one roof, officials say.

"It's a place where people can come to do research on a lot of different areas of New Netherland," Lucas says.

Associated Press

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