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SCCC program uncovers history

Wednesday's lesson served as an example of how the program works.

Course topics include archeological principles, ship construction, scientific methods, law and ethics, low- and high-tech mapping, case studies of notable underwater archeology projects, and hands-on work mapping a simulated shipwreck site. Course topics vary depending on the class.

In Zarzynski's class, he simulated the shipwreck of a 25-foot bateau to represent ones used during the French and Indian War and the American Revolution, some of which were built in factories in Schenectady along the Binnekill. The shipwreck model was based on the archeological record of a 1758 bateau wreck raised from Lake George in 1960.

"The bateaus were up at Lake George during the French and Indian Wars, and they were built in Schenectady and Albany," said Zarzynski. "They were made by carpenters and expert shipwrights from the greater Schenectady-Albany area."

The bateaus were then transported from the Schenectady-Albany area to Fort Edward on Lake George.

CAP's two non-credit certificate programs include a Certificate of Proficiency in Community Archeology and Advanced Certificate in Community Archeology.

The first program provides students with the knowledge and skills necessary to participate in regional archeological activities under professional supervision.

"It's our entry certificate program, and it is pursued by the vast majority of people that start to take courses and is the basis for people to participate actively in fieldwork," said Kingsley.

To earn the certificate, students must take six courses, including Historical Archeology and Field Study, Pre-Colonial Archeology Field Study, and Researching and Interpreting Documents. Students must also volunteer for 30 hours in the lab and 30 hours in the field.

After completing the entry certificate program, students may move on to earn the advanced certificate.

For that, students complete six special topic courses and an approved archeological product, such as an exhibit, a presentation, or a site study, and a report. Recently offered courses have included Underwater Archeology for Non-Divers, Geoarchaeology, Presenting Archaeological Findings and the Archaeology of Schenectady's Erie Canal.

Since the courses are non-credit, there are no tests or papers involved.

"It's perhaps attractive to a lot of people because one doesn't have to worry about tests and grades and is a program that allows you to learn and participate and have fun discovering history," said Kingsley.

For more information on the Community Archaeology Program, visit www.sunysccc.edu. ""

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