Critique of Oneida Iroquois Archaeology Studying the distribution
of sites in Chenango and Madison counties, I wonder if the origins of the
Oneidas could not be traced back further in time. More work needs
to be done on the Cazenovia area sites to confirm their suspected relationship
to the later Oneida sites. Although a relationship between the Onondaga,
Oneida, and Mohawk Iroquois is shown in the models of evolution derived
from the ceramic and linguistic studies, the same relationships are not
evident in the archaeological record as presently interpreted. We are being
held back in our work by three major models that do not agree with each
other, as well as a mistaken "similarity" in burial patterns. We
must achieve some high degree of agreement between the models if we are
to be successful in our interpretations of Iroquois prehistory.
Why Owahgena? Cazenovia Lake has an ancient name and we tend to accept its form and meaning without much challenge. I had thought little on the matter of the origin and authenticity of the name "Owahgena" and its translation as "Lake of the Yellow Perch" until I came across a reference to the lake that predated the settlement of the village by John Lincklaen and his contemporaries. This was published in the Cazenovia Republican during Cazenovia's Bicentennial back in July of 1993 and has been up on the CazBoard.
The Real Battle of Nichols Pond Traditionalist Local Historians have long claimed that Nichols Pond, a small swamp high in the hills of the Town of Fenner, Madison County, was the location of an Onondaga Indian village that was attacked by Samuel de Champlain in 1615. Despite decades of archaeological research that has entirely disproven this fallacy historical markers still point the way to the spot. The site, still maintained as a County Park commemorating the Champlain raid, was actually a prehistoric Oneida Iroquois Village. Various lines of evidence and reasoning have been used by both sides in the real "Battle of Nichols Pond."
Brief Prehistory of Cazenovia and Vicinity Cazenovia is situated
between the traditional homelands of the Onondaga and Oneoda Iroquois.
In the Pompey Hollow just to the west are important Onondaga village sites
and just to the northeast are village sites of the early Oneida.
Artifacts of all time periods (except the very earliest - paleo) have been
found in Cazenovia and this informal paper examines the occupation of the
are in the days before white folks came in and clainmed the land as their
own. The settlement patterns, food resources, use of Cazenovia Lake,
and land claims are discussed. This paper gives a good idea of the
"pre-Lincklaen" or pre-1793 occupation of the area.