Native American scholar at Van Kirk Homestead

Edwin Struve, guest of historical society


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  • Arrowheads and other artifacts on display at the Sparta Historical Society Photo courtesy of the Sparta Historical Society



— Dr. Edwin Struve, a lifelong member of Archaeological Society of New Jersey and published author, will trace local ancient indigenous people in a presentation on Thursday, Sept. 14, entitled ‘New Insights into Sparta’s Native American Prehistory.” A recent examination of the Indian artifacts found decades ago on the Van Kirk Homestead grounds in Sparta, currently on display at the Sparta Historical Society museum, revealed that they are far older than previously believed.

Rather than simply dating from the time that the Europeans arrived in the 1600s and 1700s, the artifacts proved to span many millennia from 6800 BC to at least 1200 AD as small groups of Native Americans returned repeatedly to a location that was exceptionally rich in seasonal resources. Drawing upon recent advances in archaeology, Dr. Edwin Struve will set Sparta’s prehistory in the larger context of the Native American prehistory of New Jersey and surrounding states.

Besides being known as a scholar in Indian culture and affairs, Dr. Struve has been active in efforts to improve the delivery of culturally competent mental health care to New Jersey’ Indians, and in particular to the Ramapough Lenape Nation.

This historical program will be held at Sparta Presbyterian Church located at 32 Main Street from 7:00PM – 8:30PM, Sept. 14. Following the presentation, refreshments will be served. Those attending will have a chance to ask questions about the topic or other issues relating to the history of Native Americans. If you have any artifacts that you want Dr, Struve to identify, bring them to the meeting. Members are free, non-members $5.

The Sparta Historical Society is located at The Van Kirk Homestead Museum at 336 Main Street (Rte. 517, use Middle School Driveway), Sparta. It will be open Sunday, September 24th with our Fall Exhibition on “Princess White Deer: A Women, A Mohawk, and A Legend” and will be open every second and fourth Sunday through December 10th from 1-4 pm with 2PM talk. Further details or group reservations, call 973-726-0883 or Email: spartahistoricalsocnj@gmail.com.

Technology Funding has been made available in part by the NJ Historical Commission through the County History Partnership Program, as administered by the Sussex County Arts & Heritage Council.

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