Discover “The Archaeology of Music” At CCHS

The Chenango County Historical Society (CCHS) and the Chenango Chapter of the New York State Archaeological Association (NYSAA) are partnering for “The Archaeology of Music.” Combining archaeology and anthropology with history, this unique experience demonstrates how people around the world use music to connect with other people.

On June 6, join archaeologist Vivian James for an interactive, family-friendly presentation about musical instruments from around the world. Beginning with the Neanderthals and ending with indigenous instruments used in upstate New York – including Chenango County – James will show how music is an important part of the human story.

Museum guests are invited to create and decorate their own maracas using simple modern materials beginning at 4:30 p.m. Visitors are encouraged to purchase dinner from food truck “Kandi’s Kitchen” before the official presentation gets underway at 5:30 p.m. During the program, James will exhibit her collection of indigenous percussion instruments, with the audience being invited to make music at various times throughout the presentation. Pre-registration is encouraged by emailing

“We’re really looking forward to this dynamic program,” said Jessica Moquin, CCHS executive director. “Experiencing ‘The Archaeology of Music’ is a terrific way to connect with other people and our shared musical heritage. As we make music together, we have the opportunity to understand different cultures and appreciate previous generations. CCHS is grateful for this engaging community collaboration and the musical adventures we’ll be sharing.”

A registered professional archaeologist, Vivian James chairs the Collections Committee of the New York Archaeological Council and has worked with museums and archives in New York, Georgia, and Mexico. She specializes in bone artifacts (osteoarchaeology) and is a member of the International Council for Archaeozoology and the Society for American Archaeology. James has taught archaeology and anthropology courses at SUNY Schenectady County Community College’s “Community Archaeology Program,” Siena College, and the University at Albany. She has published four peer-reviewed journal articles, and she co-authored the archaeology sections of Mysteries of the Human Journey, a combination text/workbook covering basic introductory anthropology.

First established in 1939, CCHS is the primary organization dedicated to actively and comprehensively preserving the history of Chenango County. The area’s premier heritage museum, the organization celebrates local culture – unique traditions, noteworthy residents, and unusual stories of the region. CCHS programs are made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.

The NYSAA is the primary organization for professional and avocational archaeologists in New York state. The Chenango Chapter of the NYSAA holds monthly programs featuring presentations by professional and amateur archaeologists and historians as well as field trips, work on local digs, and publications.

Some of James’ time for this project is sponsored by PCG Cares, a program of Public Consulting Group (PCG) that supports its employees to volunteer in their local communities. Founded in 1986 and headquartered in Boston, PCG helps primarily public sector health, education, and human services organizations make measurable improvements to their performance and processes.

Open Wed - Fri, 10 AM - 4 PM

Make a Donation

Donation Form