New York.  "Meadowood people lived in much the same way as their Late Archaic ancestors: they harvested nuts, seeds, and berries from the forest; hunted many birds and mammals; and fished in the lakes and streams" (Braun and Braun, 1994:66).
    Former New York State Archaeologist, William A. Ritchie, described the geography of one site in the following manner: "The Riverhaven No. 2 station...lies upon a fifty-foot-long, narrow, crescent-shaped bench or terrace, only a few feet above the level of the Niagara River, on the eastern-most promontory of Grand Island..."(1994:180).  Though the area actually encompasses several specific excavations and site names, I will refer to the general area as Riverhaven (Fig.1) throughout this article.   
    My first venture to this site was in early March of 1999.  The water level of Lake Erie had been at or close to a record low due to near drought conditions that existed in the Great Lakes region during the previous year.  Subsequently, the Niagara River was running, by my estimation, about eight to ten inches lower than average. 
    I left my car on a pleasant late winter day and followed the edge of a small stream that flows into the Niagara at the heart of the site.  Making my way down stream I began to notice the occurrence of small gray flakes of Onondaga Chert, their frequency increasing with every step that I took in the direction of the river's

approximately 80 feet before it disappeared under the heavy overhanging brush to the north and a point where the edge of the marsh met the river waterline to the south.  This opportunity was unusual as this exposed beach would have typically been inundated during more normal river conditions. 
    I stepped off the eight inch terrace created by the frozen muck and roots of the swamp's edge.  I began scanning the surface of the gravelly beach and immediately began to see innumerable amounts of glossy river-patinated Onondaga chert debitage.  A closer examination of the debitage made it all too clear that this was indeed one of the Meadowood phase Riverhaven sites that had been excavated and documented some 25 years earlier.  Many of the waste flakes I scrutinized were wide, thin, well executed secondary and tertiary thinning flakes with obvious and deliberate striking platforms intact.  These flakes were decidedly indicative of the skillful knapping style that is associated with the Meadowood culture and their thin, finely crafted cache blades and projectile points. 
    Though on that first day the river was quite calm, subsequent visits to the site offered a phenomenon that could be considered  music to the ears of an artifact collector.  With each small wave that breaks upon the shore, the ears are greeted with the sound of tremendous quantities of chert debitage tinkling like a lithic water chime.

Fig. 1
A view of the Riverhaven site looking down river

edge.  Onondaga Chert, of which nearly all Western New York point types were made,  is readily available at its source approximately eight miles to the south near the mouth of the Niagara River and the international Peace Bridge. 
    The small creek I followed was flanked on either side by a wetland marsh as it neared its intersection with the eastern branch of the Niagara River.  This swampy area extended back from the river toward a hardwood forest approximately 50 yards. The muck would have presented a formidable challenge to traverse by foot had the river been closer to its normal level.  I was also fortunate that the marsh lay yet in a frozen state, a reminder of the fact that it was still technically winter though the temperature neared 50 degrees on this sunny March day.
    As I approached the river's edge I could see a narrow gravelly beach, about  three feet wide, between the reeds and muck of the marsh and the river waterline.  This narrow strip of beach extended for a distance of