NORWICH – As members of the Chenango Chapter of the New York State Archaeological Association, Josh Sheldon and Dan Noble have spent countless hours studying the lives, cultures and history of New York’s Native American population.
This spring, Noble and his family gifted a priceless collection of approximately 1,000 Native American artifacts to the New York State Museum in Albany. The artifacts were gathered over the course of over six decades by George W. Noble – now of Reno, Nevada – his parents Daniel and Pearl Noble, and his brothers Dan, Charles and Bill. According to Noble, the boys were mentored in archeological techniques by their high school teacher, Stanford Gibson, still widely respected in the field. For half a century, Noble has maintained the integrity of the collection, in a number of cigar boxes locked away in an antique carpenter’s chest. Sheldon began working with Noble over two years ago, assisting him in cataloging the artifacts and arranging them so they could be safely displayed.
The collection doubles the amount of cultural materials held by the State Museum from the “White site,” located three miles east of the city, Noble reported. In addition, it gives the museum its only collection of artifacts excavated from the “Airport site,” a multi-component site one mile north of Norwich. That collection is one of only two not thrown away to heirs or auctioned away, added Noble.