Natural history museum specializing in Long Island & NYS geology and archaeology with 62-acre nature preserve along Hempstead Harbor.
The Museum is a center for research on Long Island geology and a valued resource in the study of the Island's Native American archaeology. Reference collections of original archaeological artifacts and geological phenomena are maintained. These are used in exhibits and Museum educational programs and are available for special research purposes. A giftshop provides materials and publications related to the exhibits and educational programming, with emphasis on the natural history of Long Island.
The museum's exhibits offer Long Island and New York State geology and Long Island Native American culture and archaeology. Geology exhibits illustrate Long Island's glacial history and explain the formation of today's land features. Dramatic post-glacial changes in climate and sea level are detailed in dioramas to show the evolution of our landscape during the past 20,000 years. Local leaf fossils and concretions ("Indian paint pots") are also on display.
There are several more recent exhibits, including a major addition to the permanent exhibits, "The Seasonal Round", an attractive new diorama exploring Long Island Native American lifeways throughout the seasons of the year. Some of the latest archaeological theories are also detailed in a nearby audio exhibit. Our most recent exhibit is an Interactive Woodland Village, where children and adults are welcome to "plant" corns, beans, and squash or "fish" from the Dugout Canoe.
The archaeological exhibits begin with the migration of peoples from Asia to the New World, and his subsequent cultural evolution. A series of exquisite dioramas illustrates Indian life scenes from Long Island. Numerous prehistoric Indian artifacts are displayed. Other exhibits deal with the first European contact, in the ultimate demise of the Native American culture. The science of archaeology is the subject of several exhibits, including a model of the archaeological excavation.