Native American artifacts unearthed at Gilboa Dam

Fossils found at the Gilboa Dam in Gilboa, have been preserved and will be put on display at local institutions, the NYCS Environmental Protection Commissioner Carter Strickland has announced.
Two fossils of the earth’s oldest trees, dating back 380 million years ago that were discovered during the reconstruction of the Gilboa Dam have been loaned to the Time and the Valleys Museum in Grahamsville to be part of a permanent exhibit about the New York City watershed.

“The Time and the Valleys Museum is grateful to DEP and all of the people that made possible the loan of the Archeopteris fossils from the Gilboa site,” said the Museum’s Executive Director, Donna Steffens-Fajfer. “The fossils will become part of the permanent exhibit about NYC’s water system story including the building of the Rondout and Neversink Reservoirs.” 

During the ongoing reconstruction of the Gilboa Dam in Schoharie County, DEP engineers uncovered fossilized tree stumps while excavating the Riverside Quarry, which is downstream of the dam. The New York State Museum was notified of the find and their experts helped to unearth 32 fossilized stumps.

As excavation of the quarry resumed, museum personnel, who remained on-site, noticed the remnants of the forest floor. The area was then carefully washed and museum staff mapped the forest floor and extracted additional tree-top specimens from the rock.

The fossils are from the Devonian Period, dating 380 million years ago, and are evidence of the world’s oldest forest.

The findings have been loaned to the Time and Valleys Museum in Grahamsville and are part of a permanent exhibit that also features panels about the history of the watershed, including the building of the Rondout and Neversink reservoirs. The fossilized stumps were delivered to the museum earlier this summer. In 2011 DEP donated similar fossils to the New York State Museum as well as the Gilboa Museum