PAC Newsletter
 In this issue:  


President's Message

Election Results

Current Research

Public Education

PHMC Website

PennDOT Report

Remembering Our Colleague

In the News



 Newsletter Archives

 Summer 2005

 Vol. 26




Submitted by: Peter Siegel, PAC President
John Milner Associates, Inc. .

After serving the Pennsylvania Archaeological Council (PAC) for two years, I have a few observations. The voice of archaeology is small but the implications of archaeology are not. The archaeological past represents a materialization of many peoples' heritage. Some people still live in or near the area of their own archaeological heritage; others have moved on or disappeared. As an organization, PAC is consumed by knowing the importance of the past and how best to preserve and manage it in the face of ever-growing hurdles.

Probably the biggest hurdle is the downward spiral of the economy, which permeates every aspect of society. The dwindling supply of money results in greater competition for it and legislators are faced with the challenges of balancing very real needs of citizens. To this end, in my view, passing Act 70 was shortsighted given that taxpayers thereby incurred another burden. However, in the long run, it didn't burden the taxpayer because funding for the resultant Commonwealth Archaeological Program (CAP) has been cut and permit applicants for projects that require Act 70 involvement are legally destroying archaeological sites across the state. Act 70 is now an unfunded mandate.

What's the message here? Developers with deep pockets lobby state congress to pass a law that increases their profit margin at the expense of our collective heritage. I know that I am preaching to the choir but I think that PAC needs to remain proactive in educating the various sectors of the public about the importance of preserving and understanding the past. These sectors range from the youngest constituents - school children - to various business, local government, and preservation organizations, to the elected officials who debate and enact legislation on our behalf.

The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) requested that PAC come up with a "pithy" statement about what archaeology is and why it's important. There was a flurry of activity some months ago about this. In my view, one of the best statements was written by my daughter's 6th-grade English teacher, based on information provided to him by Kurt Carr and me:


On the Value of Archaeology
by Rich Beck Peirce
Middle School, West Chester Area School District

The past can be a ray of sun that lights a path for humankind or a shadow that lingers on humankind's future. Archaeology is the study that reveals our past in the hope of avoiding the dark shadows that befell us in the past. Archaeology provides a voice for those that have no recorded history. It provides a balance between what has clouded our perceptions and what was real. Archaeology paints a still life that celebrates the range of human adaptation; the cycle of rebirth; the circle of success and failure; and the vein of achievement, possibilities, and hope that has ebbed and flowed in the maelstrom of human endeavor throughout the ages. Archaeology illustrates the range of human adaptation; of survival and decline; of extinction and renewal. It illustrates how we have reacted to a variety of environmental circumstances; how we have become who we are and perhaps, it can provide a map to what we might become. Archaeology is a means to document patterns of cultural evolution that could benefit generations to come. Archaeology has demonstrated that human cultural adaptation is not unique. We are akin to the smallest organism. What drives us, drives all living things - nature, biology, experience, habit, and society. To understand the inevitability of change is the archaeologist's key that unlocks both the mystery of our past and of our future.


Perhaps this is a little romantic, but maybe it's something our elected officials will respond to.

I would like to acknowledge a few people who were very helpful to me over the past two years of serving PAC: Ira Beckerman, Beverly Chiarulli, Rick Geidel, Mark McConaughy, Philip Perazio, Valerie Perazio, Ben Resnick, and Renata Wolynec. A number of people represented or continue to represent PAC as a Consulting Party for various projects in the state: Bill Chadwick, Tom East, Rick Geidel, Pat Miller, Philip Perazio, Ben Resnick, and Heather Wholey.

I wish PAC and the future of Pennsylvania's past all the best.


Submitted by: Mark A. McConaughy, BHP, PHMC

The results of the PAC election are as follows:

President: Paul Raber
Vice President: Ben Resnick
Secretary-Treasurer: Mark A. McConaughy
Board of Directors: Kurt W. Carr and Heather Wholey


There were no submissions for this edition.


Obsidian Project Requests Your Help

Submitted by: Charles A. Bello, CRCG

PAC members Carolyn Dillian and Charles A. Bello are looking for information concerning archaeological obsidian finds in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, adjacent states, and throughout the eastern seaboard states. The previous issue of the PAC Newsletter (Volume 25, 2004) discussed this project at length. Current information concerning this ongoing research and recent publications (PDF) can be found at their Web site Please visit the site and contact them if you can help. Contact: Charles A. Bello, M.A., RPA, 19 Ledge Lane, Pipersville, Pa 18947 or 610-294-8260


Phase II and III Studies on Calver Island
Susquehanna River Bridge Replacement Project
Dauphin and York Counties, Pennsylvania

Submitted by: Patricia Miller KCI Technologies, Inc.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission is replacing the bridge that crosses the Susquehanna River in Dauphin and York Counties, Pennsylvania. Because the project requires permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), archaeological investigations were conducted in compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. Phase II and III investigations on Calver Island were conducted at areas of potential ground disturbance from construction of five piers. Because of engineering constraints, work within the APE could not be performed below a depth of 2.1 meters (7.0 feet). Therefore, an Alternative Area was established for archaeological investigations that would extend to the depth of channel lag to determine whether deeply buried components are present at the site.

Work in the Alternative Area began with the completion of a program of geoprobes to assess the depositional history of the island. The geoprobes revealed thick, silty Bw horizons in the center of the island and stacked soil sequences underlying the levees on the island margins. Screening of the geoprobe soil indicated that artifacts were present to at least 30 centimeters (12 inches) above channel lag, which occurred at approximately 5.8 meters (19.0 feet) below the surface. Subsequent excavations confirmed that the geoprobes provided an accurate model of soil stratigraphy and artifact distribution.

Following the geoprobes, block excavations were completed. In all, Phase II and III investigations on the island covered 188 square meters (2027 square feet). Radiocarbon dates indicate that the site was occupied from as early as 5060 BP through the Late Woodland Period. Completion of two 2 meter x 2 meter units to channel lag within the Alternative Area remains to be completed in the 2005 field season and it is likely that earlier components will be identified.

The most intensive occupation of the island was during the Late Archaic and Transitional Periods. A series of late Transitional Period occupations dated to between 3000 to 3400 BP. The artifact assemblages included small amounts of steatite and ceramics. Rhyolite predominated in the debitage. Points were primarily stemmed, but Susquehanna broadspears were also present. Six features were identified, representing at least three separate occupations. Feature types included hearths and hearth refuse pits.

Early Transitional Period occupations dated between 3400 and 3700 BP. Argillite predominated in the debitage assemblage. The vertical distribution of features suggested that at least four separate occupations were present. Feature types included surface and pit hearths, fire-cracked rock dumps, and a roasting pit. Steatite was present and included bowl fragments. Nine broadspears of various types were found, but stemmed points were more numerous.

A Late Archaic to early Transitional Period occupation zone was dated from 3700 BP to ca. 4000 BP. Argillite was the predominant material in the debitage and most of the points were stemmed. Features indicated the presence of at least two occupations. Feature types included hearths, storage/refuse pits, and a roasting pit.

A Late Archaic zone dating to ca. 4300 BP represented an intensive period of occupation. Slate and quartz were predominant in the debitage. Associated features, which included a roasting pit, a possible earth oven, pit, a hearth, four fire-cracked rock dumps, and three hearth refuse deposits, could all conceivably represent the same occupation. In addition to stemmed points, a corner-notched point and a triangular point were also found.

An earlier series of Late Archaic occupations dated to ca. 4400 BP. The vertical distribution of features suggested at least three occupations. Lithic materials were similar to those of the ca. 4300 BP occupation zone. The five features included an earth oven, a surface hearth, two hearth refuse deposits, and a feature of unknown function. Points were notched and stemmed, although three triangular points were also found.

The earliest occupations identified in the 2004 field season dated to ca. 5000 BP. Feature distribution suggested at least six separate occupations. Lithic materials included quartz, quartzite, argillite, rhyolite, and gray chert. The features included three earth ovens, three pit hearths, a surface hearth, a refuse pit, a hearth refuse deposit, and a pit of unknown function. Points were notched, stemmed, and triangular.

The Calver Island excavations revealed a series of intensive occupations between 3000 and 5000 years ago. When complete, microwear analysis and analysis of faunal and botanical remains from features should provide more evidence of the specific types of activities that took place on the island, but the general tool and feature types suggest seasonal base camps were present throughout the period rather than any type of special purpose camp. Although there were some changes in point types and lithic material use over time, the tool and feature types suggest a continuity of adaptation in what would have been an extremely favorable setting throughout the period.


New AMS Dates Challenge Our Understanding of the
Later Prehistory of the Upper Ohio Valley

Submitted by: Bernard K. Means Virginia Commonwealth University

The forthcoming issue of Pennsylvania Archaeologist reports on a series of new accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) dates obtained from Monongahela village sites located in Somerset County, Pennsylvania. Somerset County is in the Allegheny Mountain Section of the Appalachian Plateaus physiographic province and is drained by the Casselman and Youghiogheny Rivers, both of which are part of the Upper Ohio River drainage system. Somerset County is notable for having the largest number of completely excavated Monongahela village sites. Most village sites were excavated as part of federal relief or New Deal excavations from 1934 to 1940 (Means 1998). Three village sites were excavated more recently as part of compliance excavations, including Gnagey No. 3 (George 1983a), Quemahoning/ Alwine (George 1983b), and Petenbrink No. 1 (Means 2002).

The New Deal-excavated sites were previously undated and were assigned to the Somerset Phase by Richard George, which he defined largely on the basis of his excavations at Gnagey No. 3 (George 1983a). The Somerset Phase was considered to extend from AD 900 to AD 1250 (George 1983a; Johnson 2001). Gnagey No. 3 had two overlapping occupations, with one thought to date to the tenth century AD and the other likely to the twelfth century AD. Recent dates obtained by John Hart and his colleague C. Margaret Scarry from two beans at Gnagey No. 3 produced dramatically different dates suggesting that both components at this site actually dated to the middle of the fourteenth century AD (Hart and Scarry 1999).

I recently obtained funding from the National Science Foundation (grant BCS-0226785) intended-in part-to clarify the occupational history of the Allegheny Mountain section. Using collections from The State Museum of Pennsylvania, Division of Archaeology, and the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, I was able to date organic remains in the form of carbonized residue on ceramics, carbonized beans and maize remains, and a section of a bone awl from nine components located at seven New Deal-excavated village sites. I also obtained additional dates from the two components at Gnagey No. 3. These new AMS dates demonstrate unequivocally that the Monongahela occupation of this region dated from ca. AD 1100 to AD 1580, and not from AD 900 to AD 1250 as had been previously thought.

For a full reporting of these dates and some of their implications, please refer to "New Dates for New Deal Excavated Monongahela Villages in Somerset County" Pennsylvania Archaeologist 75 (1).

(Small print above graphic is as follows: Atmospheric date from Reimer et al (2004); OxCal v3.10 Bronk Ramsey (2005); cub r:5 sd:12 prob usp [chron])


References Cited

George, R. L.

1983a The Gnagey Site and the Monongahela Occupation of the Somerset Plateau. Pennsylvania Archaeologist 53(4):1-79.

1983b Appendix V: The Quemahoning Site. Pennsylvania Archaeologist 53(4):93-97.

Hart, J. P. and C. M. Scarry

1999 The Age of Common Beans (Phaseolous vulgaris) in the Northeastern United States. American Antiquity 64(4):653-658.

Johnson, W. C.

2001 Late Prehistoric and Protohistoric Period Monongahela Culture and the Case for an Iroquoian Connection. In Societies in Eclipse: Archaeology of The Eastern Woodlands, A.D.1400- 1700, edited by D. S. Brose, C. W. Cowan, and R. C. Mainfort, Jr., pp. 67-82. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C.

Means, B. K.

1998 Archaeological Past and Present: Field Methodology from 1930s Relief Excavations in Somerset County, Pennsylvania and its Relevance to Modern Archaeological Interpretations. Journal of Middle Atlantic Archaeology 14:39-63.

2002 The Later Prehistory of Meyersdale, Pennsylvania, and Its Surroundings: An Overview. North American Archaeologist 23(4):281-307.


PAC Education Committee Report

Submitted by: Valerie Perazio Kittatinny Archaeological Research, Inc.

For over ten years, the Pennsylvania Archaeological Council (PAC) has proudly sponsored an essay contest, which annually coincides with the celebration of Archaeology Month in Pennsylvania. The essays are announced in September, submitted by students across the state in February, and an awards ceremony is held in the spring. Students address the issue of preserving the past for the future by considering what archaeological sites preserve and how students can become part of the process of preservation. Each year, the best authors are selected in two categories: grades 4-6 and grades 7-9. The essays bear witness to the encouragement given by dedicated teachers who believe in the value of learning to express abstract thoughts on paper and who understand the necessity of exposing young minds to new and worthy ideas.

The 2004-2005 academic year was an exemplary year for the Archaeological Essay Contest. Essays were received from school districts and home schools in the following towns across the state: Altoona, Dillsburg, Elizabethtown, Erie, Homer City, Mechanicsburg, Media, North Huntingdon, Perkasie, Selinsgrove, and Titusville. One hundred seventeen essays were received from students studying social studies, Pennsylvania history, archaeology, English, language arts, biology, and independent topics in gifted classes.

Each category of student essays received First, Second, Third, and Honorable Mention awards. In addition to the actual certificates and awards, the prizes included copies of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) sponsored publications on Gayman Tavern and King of Prussia Tavern, Pennsylvania Archaeology Month posters and bookmarks, pencils, and a copy of the Society for American Archaeology's (SAA's) "Principles of Archaeological Ethics." Teachers also received this material for their libraries and classrooms as well as a copy of Volume 25, No.2, 2002 of CRM, which deals in its entirety with the global crisis of looting.

The award ceremonies were traditionally held at City Island in the following year's Archaeology Month celebrations. The loss of the CAP program has forced PAC to find alternate locations to honor the students and their families. Locations have included the Pennsylvania State Museum and Bushy Run Battlefield. This year, PAC was privileged to be able to use the newly renovated Pennsylvania Military Museum in Boalsburg. Although not yet open to the public, the conference room was available for the ceremony and light refreshments. Afterwards, the students and their families were invited to see the museum exhibit in progress - not an everyday occurrence. In addition, the museum's new introductory DVD was played for the first time to this "public" group, and the viewers' comments were solicited.

Traditionally, the ceremony has involved speakers. Holding the ceremony at alternate locations has limited the number but not the quality of the speakers. Last year, at Bushy Run Battlefield, Mark McConaughy spoke about Western Pennsylvania Prehistory. This year, Philip Perazio presented a smorgasbord of archaeological sites including upland, urban, and industrial sites as a means of underscoring the importance of preservation, even in unlikely areas.

Each year, thousands of potentially important archaeological sites are lost through apathy, greed, negligence, and looting. In large part, this stems from ignorance of what the past represents and what archaeology can offer, as well as frustration as to what people can do. The annual Pennsylvania Archaeological Essay Contest is one effort of PAC to counterbalance this situation by providing teachers with resources and students with an outlet to explore the relationship of the past and present. The opportunity to think and discuss encourages the teacher-student-learning dynamic. It is fervently anticipated that young minds so educated will work for the future of the past.


2005 Pennsylvania Archaeology Month Table at
State Capitol

Submitted by: Richard A. Geidel KCI Technologies, Inc.

PAC, in partnership with the PHMC and PennDOT, will again have an information table for a day at the State Capitol in Harrisburg during October. This will be the third consecutive year we've had a table at the Capitol as part of Pennsylvania Archaeology Month.

Photograph submitted by Joseph Baker, PennDOT.

This year we are planning to increase our visibility beyond a display table. We hope to arrange for speakers, including representatives from the sponsoring agencies, state and federal legislators, and a prominent Pennsylvania archaeologist. We also want to include activities to engage the many people who pass through the Capitol on any given day: legislators, staff, lobbyists, and visitors. In the coming months we will be soliciting PAC members for information and pictures about projects and sites in Pennsylvania that help us document and understand the Commonwealth's archaeological heritage. We also welcome suggestions PAC members may have about how to make our day at the Capitol more than just a chance to hand out pencils and posters. Please send your ideas to Joe Baker (717-705-1482 (P), 717-772-0834 (F) or or Rick Geidel (717-691-1340 (P), 717-691-3470 (F), or


Project Archaeology Update

Submitted by: Renata B. Wolynec Edinboro University of Pennsylvania

PAC has been an active partner with Project Archaeology since the 1990s. PAC has developed a variety of curriculum materials with support from grants from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. These include a reading-based middle school curriculum, a teaching trunk which complements this curriculum, video materials for use with the teaching trunk, and an educational standards-based middle school curriculum, among other materials. PAC members have been trained to offer workshops to teachers and archaeological professionals in the use of these and national curriculum materials. Workshops have been offered at statewide teachers' conferences and at specialized workshop venues across the state.

Last fall, presentations were made at the Pennsylvania Council for Social Studies annual meetings by Beverly Chiarulli, at the Pennsylvania Science Teachers Association annual meetings by Valerie Perazio, and at the National Council for Social Studies (NCSS) annual meetings in Baltimore by me. The NCSS meetings provided me with an opportunity to collaborate with national Project Archaeology colleagues in presenting both national and Pennsylvania-based materials. I was able to distribute Pennsylvania Archaeology Month materials and CDs of the new standards-based curriculum. The formal presentation included a lesson plan, which was printed in the 2003 teacher's packet of Pennsylvania Archaeology Month. This lesson focuses on using primary sources, such as maps, to identify the location of historical archaeological sites, in this case, the French Fort sur la Rivière aux Boeufs.

Project Archaeology Pennsylvania workshops were offered at two locations in 2005. A mini-workshop was held during the afternoon session of the spring PAC meeting. Beverly and I presented the workshop to fellow PAC and Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology (SPA) members. The participants spent a pleasant and congenial afternoon modeling a middle school class as they learned how to use a variety of lessons from the national and state Project Archaeology curricula. Of course, Beverly and I enjoyed sharing this wonderful material with our colleagues.

The second location was at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, this past June. Practicing teachers, teachers in training, social studies graduate students, and undergraduate anthropology students participated in a three-week course, "Basic Archaeology for the Teacher," which included in-depth presentations and analyses of the Project Archaeology materials. This coming fall, a selection of these materials will be offered at a special event for teachers at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology in Philadelphia.

It has become clear to me that an increasing number of teachers will use the Project Archaeology materials if they can be given access to them, with or without training in how to use them. For example, a Titusville school used a teaching trunk during this past school year. Both students and the teacher benefited greatly from the materials PAC made available to them. This teacher had not participated in any workshop. Because the materials are so very teacher friendly, he had no trouble adapting them to meet the needs of his class.

As state network coordinator for Project Archaeology, I have attended meetings of network coordinators in Indianapolis and Salt Lake City, this past academic year, with travel support provided by Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. There are two important developments we need to be aware of. First, the national Project Archaeology writing team is currently producing a new curriculum to replace the popular and reliable Intrigue of the Past: A Teacher's Activity Guide for Fourth through Seventh Grades (Smith et al. 1996), a publication of the Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management.

Drafts of the new national curriculum have been introduced at the network coordinators' meetings and I have had the opportunity to test part of it with my students in "Basic Archaeology for the Teacher" this past June. It is well conceived and promises to become a useful and engaging teaching and learning tool. I will introduce the new curriculum in next year's newsletter.

Second, Project Archaeology has now found a new home at Montana State University at Bozeman. It is unclear how this change in affiliation will influence our use of new and old Project Archaeology materials. Thus far, the team is as responsive to and supportive of individual state initiatives as ever. For more information about the national Project Archaeology please access its Web site at

Finally, during the SAA meetings, the Public Education Committee of the SAA organized a special event for children called Archaeologyland. This round of activities included cordage making and creating a rock art wall, among other activities. Although they ran out of CDs very quickly, I was able to receive a copy from Carol Ellick, Chair of the SAA Public Education Committee. If anyone would like a copy of this engaging activity set, please contact me at I will send you a CD.

We learned many years ago that an educated public is a valuable partner in discovering, preserving, and protecting Pennsylvania's remarkable cultural heritage. Developing, expanding, and strengthening this partnership is always a work in progress. We need your participation. Please contact me if you would like to be involved in Project Archaeology.


See Public Education


Submitted by: Kurt W. Carr BHP, PHMC

As some of you know, the PHMC's Bureau for Historic Preservation (BHP) is in the process of developing a Web site for Pennsylvania archaeology. Our purpose is to disseminate fresh and up-to-date information on archaeology in Pennsylvania. These have been very successful in other states in getting new data out and raising the visibility of archaeology and the nonrenewable nature of archaeological resources. Our target audience is the professional community, the general public, and especially students and teachers. Each of these groups will have their own portal divided into several pages.

The "Professionals" portal will be divided into "Resources," "PHMC Archaeology," and "Guidelines and Policies." We are hoping that this portal will facilitate archaeological research in the state by allowing access to various databases in one place. Most of the word documents will be searchable files. The major parts of the portal for professionals are shown in the following outline.

Archaeology for PROFESSIONALS

On left navigation bar:


CRM Reports Database A Searchable Reports database with abstracts
Unpublished Manuscripts in The State Museum
Museum Collections
Radiocarbon Database
Archaeological Synthesis
Watershed Syntheses - Currently four have been completed: Lower Schuylkill Valley, the Upper North Branch of the Susquehanna, Raccoon Creek, and the Upper Juniata Valley.
Current Research Projects - A brief synthesis of new and unpublished research projects

PHMC Archaeology

Commonwealth Archaeology Program
Archaeology at PHMC Sites An annotated bibliography of the archaeology of our properties
PHMC Archaeology Grant Projects
Current Research by PHMC employees

Guidelines and Policies

Environmental review process
BHP Excavation and Survey Guidelines
The State Museum Curation Guidelines
Other policy statements and current issues
Electronic PASS form and code book

On right-side navigation:

What's New?
Link to CRGIS
Links to PAC, SPA, etc.
Cemetery Data
Comments and Questions
Site Map .

The "Public" portal will be divided into "Pennsylvania Archaeology," "Environmental Review," "Avocational Archaeology," and "Museums and Tours." Our goal with this section is to get the technical information, gathered by a century of professional archaeology, out to the public in a format that can be easily understood and appreciated. The Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology, Inc. Web site has done a great job in serving a wide variety of needs and much of this section will direct our users to this resource. The Pennsylvania Archaeology section will contain many popular versions of existing technical information such as compliance reports, county and watershed synthesis, and popular summaries of CAP projects. This is for people who want information on the archaeology of their own back yard. What has been found in my town and my county? What have we learned about people in the past? The major parts of the portal for the public are shown in the following outline.

Archaeology for THE PUBLIC

The value of Archaeology
Announcements: Public events - Farm Show, Archaeology Month, canoe building

Pennsylvania Archaeology

Popular summary of Pennsylvania archaeology
Popular summaries by county or watershed
Popular summaries of CAP projects
Recent projects in Pennsylvania archaeology
Popular book titles
The State Museum collections

Environmental Review

Environmental review for developers
The role of the public in protecting archaeological resources

Avocational Archaeology (Careers and Volunteer Information)

The Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology, Inc.
Avocational archaeology and "hunting arrowheads"
Information on donation procedures
Volunteer information for CAP projects, PHMC internships, and other Pennsylvania projects
Careers in archaeology
Electronic PASS forms (short and long form) and code book

Museums & Tours (Museums, virtual tours, and visiting sites)

Museum list
Visiting archaeological sites
Virtual tours
- Tour of Archaeology Gallery in the State Museum
- Tour of Archaeology Lab in the State Museum

The "Students and Teachers" portal will include many items on the "Public" portal, but with an orientation towards education. Several curricula have been developed for Pennsylvania archaeology and these will be provided. To a large degree, we see this as a vehicle to promote the curriculum developed by PAC and get this into the hands of more teachers. The "Students and Teachers" page will also provide popular summaries of Pennsylvania archaeology by county and watershed, as resources for teachers in their area. These would be well illustrated. Finally, this page would include resource lists of publications, museums, and PowerPoint presentations developed by the PHMC. The major parts of the portal for students and teachers are shown in the following outline.

Archaeology for STUDENTS & TEACHERS

Curriculums (Teaching curricula and teaching aids)

The purpose and goals of archaeology
Three curricula currently available

Summaries (An Overview of Pennsylvania Archaeology)

Popular summary of Pennsylvania archaeology
Popular summaries by county or watershed.
Popular summaries of CAP projects and compliance projects
Popular summaries of CAP and compliance projects


PowerPoint presentations by PHMC staff

Resource List

A book list

Museum List

A list of museums in Pennsylvania

Virtual tours

Tour of Archaeology Gallery in the State Museum for teachers
Tour of Archaeology Lab in the State Museum

Much of the above will be available when the Web site goes live this fall. We would like your input so please write, call, or e-mail me. Contact: Kurt W. Carr, PHMC, Commonwealth Keystone Building, 400 North Street, Harrisburg, PA 17120-0093 or 717-783-9926 or


Submitted by: Ira Beckerman PennDOT

Byways to the Past Conference

PennDOT thanks those who responded to our fall request for archaeological nominations to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Historic Preservation Excellence Awards. Last year, there was one nomination. This year, there are quite a few. We also look forward to your attendance at the Byways Conference, which will have a session specifically devoted to transportation archaeology. The Raccoon Creek Technical report will be available as a CD-Rom publication, as will a compendium of Historic Contexts for 20th Century Resources.

Cultural Resources Handbook

The Handbook is still in preparation and is about 95% complete. The remaining work is in our Quality Control/Quality Assurance Chapter, which covers how PennDOT ensures that the work we do is of good quality. We would like to have a circulating draft in 2005, with approval by FHWA by the end of 2005, and training in 2006. We anticipate training on the Handbook to the consultant community on three occasions - one each in West, Central, and Eastern Pennsylvania.

Emergency Programmatic Agreement

In January 2005, FHWA executed a programmatic agreement (PA) to cover emergency projects, such as activities undertaken in the wake of Hurricane Ivan. The PA applies to projects using FHWA Emergency Relief (ER) funding, which is largely restricted to activities that restore service, and not for highway improvements. The PA will last for ten years, and can be triggered by a federally declared emergency. A copy of the PA is available at our Web site, under "Publications." You can reach our Web site through

Lithic Scatters

PennDOT met with FHWA, the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP), and the National Register on November 3, 2004 to work toward resolution of treatment and eligibility of so-called lithic scatters. The outcome of that meeting was a commitment by the ACHP to draft a programmatic agreement (PA) for treatment. A draft has been circulated for comment by SHPO, FHWA, and PennDOT, and comments have been provided to ACHP. Prior to the meeting, PennDOT and the SHPO had worked to develop a mutually agreeable treatment plan, and had largely succeeded, with a few points to be worked out. As of April 2005, there remains a unified commitment to address this resource type in a systematic way; however, it is not clear that FHWA and the ACHP are in agreement with PennDOT and the SHPO on approach. The FHWA and ACHP appear to favor a formal PA, with PennDOT and the SHPO considering the possibility of a letter agreement on protocol being sufficient to address the issue. At this writing, it is not clear which approach will be selected.

Legacy Collections

Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) continues to work under a four-year memorandum of understanding (MOU) with PennDOT on bringing old archaeological collections up to curation standards for long-term preservation. The project is in its second year and all of the extant collections have been retrieved and are at IUP. Processing has been made more difficult, due to the highly variable condition of the collections, with a number of large collections requiring washing and labeling. In addition, much effort has been expended on locating property owners at the time the fieldwork was completed. This project is being conducted in cooperation with the State Museum.

Project Streamlining Initiative

PennDOT has undertaken a streamlining initiative (in 2004) and has formed a number of thematically based committees to implement proposed initiatives. Cultural Resources (CR) was one of three major issues tackled by the Environmental Committee, the other two being Threatened and Endangered Species, and 4(f). Four main initiatives were proposed for Cultural Resources: (1) expanding the existing minor projects programmatic agreement, possibly leading to a delegation agreement at a future date; (2) executing memorandums of understanding with the fifteen federally recognized tribes having an interest in Pennsylvania (these MOUs would define the protocols for how each tribe would consult with PennDOT and FHWA); (3) conducting archaeology in final design, so that National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) approval can be granted prior to the completion of Phase I and Phase II studies and the execution of a memorandum of agreement; and (4) electronic documentation, which would include both electronically based decision making (e.g., letter, concurrences) and electronic documents and reports. CR representatives to the Environmental Team are Chris Kula and Joe Baker.


This following article has been reproduced with the permission of the Dover Post, Dover, Delaware.

Ned Heite Remembered for Historical Contributions

By Jeff Brown and Joanna Wilson, Staff Writer and Lifestyles Editor, Dover Post, Delaware, 04/20/05

Edward F. "Ned" Heite was not a man who courted the limelight, but neither was he one to avoid controversy when it touched upon one of his many passions - he'd speak his mind and leave no doubt as to which side he was on.

The Dover native and longtime Camden resident passed away quietly April 17 at the age of 66 after an extended illness, leaving behind firm last wishes that there be no ceremony and only a few spare lines on the obituary page to memorialize him. But despite those instructions, those who knew him well could not let him go without at least a few words.

"Ned never wanted the attention, and yet he contributed and he gave to everybody," said Dan Griffith, the recently retired director of the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs.

"He was such a unique guy, we just can't let him go without some recognition," said new state Archivist Russ McCabe of the man who, when serving as chief of the state archives, hired him in 1978.

Heite had deep roots in Delaware and once hinted his family was descended from the remnants of Blackbeard's pirate crew who had settled in old Kent County. The son of the late Harry and Catherine Heite, he grew up on State Street in Dover, graduated from Dover High School and earned both bachelor's and master's degrees in history from the University of Richmond.

During a career that stretched over more than four decades, Heite was a writer, newspaper editor and college instructor as well as one of the state's most recognized archaeologists and experts on Delaware's early history. In the 1970s, he served as the state's first historic preservation officer, overseeing some of Delaware's first entries onto the National Register of Historic Places, and succeeded the legendary Dr. Leon deValinger as state archivist.

He left state employment in 1980, forming his own archaeological consulting firm, which he based in Camden. Despite the illness that was slowly sapping his strength, Heite remained active in his chosen field, attending a regional archaeological conference only weeks before his death.

Heite was an imposing figure, a mustachioed bear of a man in thick glasses topped by a great shock of black hair. No matter where he was, he always fit the popular image of the archaeologist, from his ancient Land Rover -- memorialized in a gold earring he sometimes wore -- to his worn khakis and sturdy sandals.

"He was never known for his sartorial splendor. He never got dressed up, and when he did, even if it was a suit, it was always rumpled," McCabe said.

In Heite's case, clothes did not make the historian, however.

"With Ned, what you saw was what you got. He was never one to put on airs or sit in judgment. He was very open-minded," McCabe said.

"He made a tremendous contribution to archaeology in Delaware," Griffith said, recalling his friend and colleague of 30 years. "I think the depth of his knowledge of the documentary records at the State Archives and the details he knew of colonial life in Delaware are unrivalled."

As state archivist, Heite had a style all his own, McCabe recalled - and it wasn't all business.

"He enjoyed a good laugh, though his sense of humor could be a bit abstract at times," McCabe said, recalling that when the Skylab space station fell from orbit in 1979, Heite came to work wearing a helmet emblazoned with Skylab emblems - "something you could never imagine Leon deValinger doing. But he was cut from different cloth than Leon."

Heite also became involved in the Camden community. In addition to serving on the Camden Town Council in 1983 and 1984 and on the Planning Commission from 1986 until 1992, he'd turn up at council meetings to express his strongly held opinions, reserving his most thunderous righteous indignation for developments that threatened archaeological sites.

"Anybody that's ever met the guy couldn't forget him. He had such an eclectic interest in everything," McCabe said, recalling Heite's flair for the dramatic as well as his penchant for singing 18th century sailors' drinking songs. "He had this encyclopedic knowledge about the strangest things, particularly any element of Delaware history. He had some information about just about anything you asked him."

His personal memories as well as his historical knowledge made him a man to call for information. Most recently, he shared tales of Kitts Hummock Beach in a 2003 story for the Dover Post, recalling the details of his boyhood summers as well as the background of the sleepy bayside community.

He dismissed the theory that the beach was named for pirate Capt. Kidd with typical authority: "Nonsense!" he boomed. As for the Hummock part - "It's spelled 'hummock' but it's pronounced 'hammock,'" he corrected.

A prolific writer, Heite either wrote or co-authored, some with ex-spouse Dr. Louise Heite, more than 200 articles and reports on subjects ranging from excavations at a 19th century Lebanon cannery to a treatise on the types of beer available in Iceland. Most recently, he did groundbreaking research into Delaware's Native American history, which McCabe said he hopes might be published as part of Heite's legacy.

"He was a very colorful writer," McCabe added - even in the memos he sent to archives staff. "And he loved digging for details."

McCabe recalls Heite visited the Archives just a week and a half ago to do research and congratulate him on his promotion. "I was particularly touched by the fact that he came," said McCabe, who knew his health to be failing.

On March 31, his last day of work at the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, Griffith said he visited his old friend for a little celebration and a chat.

"We just sat there and talked about archaeology," he said. "I remember giving and getting a hug from him. I'm really glad I did that."


There is no article in this issue.



The following was adapted from the Press Release.

Meadowcroft Rockshelter Named National Historic Landmark -
Historian David McCullough Cites
Rockshelter's Significance at National Conference

Submitted by: David Scofield Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Museum of Rural Life and
Ned Schano Heinz History Center

April 25, 2005 - PITTSBURGH - At a national conference of history educators this weekend, History Center President and CEO Andy Masich announced that the Meadowcroft Rockshelter, located in Avella, Pa. and an associate of the Senator John Heinz Pittsburgh Regional History Center, has earned the designation as Pennsylvania's newest National Historic Landmark.

Renowned historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning author David McCullough, who was in Pittsburgh for the National Council for History Education (NCHE) conference, echoed the sentiments of Secretary of the Interior Gale A. Norton, who awarded the National Historic Landmark designation, in describing Meadowcroft's national significance in American history and culture. McCullough described how Meadowcroft has revolutionized how archaeologists view the peopling of the New World and he praised the Rockshelter's place as the oldest site of human habitation in North America.

More than 16,000 years ago, the first Americans made their camp under a rock overhang that protected them from the elements. Throughout the ages, the Rockshelter site was occupied from the earliest Paleo-Indian times until European settlement in the 1750s. Today, visitors may go inside the open excavation and see evidence of campfires made by the first Americans thousands of years ago, as well as evidence for some of the earliest crops in what is today the northeastern United States.

"Just 30 miles west of Pittsburgh, nestled in a quaint countryside location, lies a key to understanding North American ancestry," said Andy Masich, president and CEO of the History Center. "The people of Western Pennsylvania are proud to have such a national treasure in our midst. It was here at Meadowcroft that archaeologists first found evidence that the peopling of the Americas occurred much earlier than 11,500 years ago."

"We are honored to add the National Historic Landmark designation to our growing list of commendations," said David Scofield, director of Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Museum of Rural Life. "With this, and with our status as a Pennsylvania Commonwealth Treasure and an official project of Save America's Treasures, we hope the region will continue to visit, explore, and understand the amazing and important stories housed at Meadowcroft."

James M. Adovasio, Ph.D, Mercyhurst College professor and principal investigator of the site, said "The Rockshelter's designation as a National Historic Landmark provides further validation of the archaeological significance of the site. This honor comes at an ideal time, since this year marks the 50th anniversary of the Rockshelter's discovery in 1955."

The Rockshelter officially opened for the 2005 season on May 1. The public will discover how ancient people survived - from what they ate to the weapons they relied on every day - via admission to and special tours of the Rockshelter. A special ceremony celebrating the National Historic Landmark designation was held at the Meadowcroft Rockshelter in June.

The Meadowcroft site also includes the Museum of Rural Life, a carefully recreated 19th century village including structures such as a one-room schoolhouse, blacksmith shop, and family home.

On the heels of the National Historic Landmark designation, the Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Museum of Rural Life has prepared its most multi-faceted season ever. Dubbing its lineup the "Season of Discovery," in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Rockshelter's discovery, the site will feature an array of exhibits, programs, and special events.

Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Museum of Rural Life is located in Avella, Pa., Washington County, within an hour's drive of Pittsburgh; Wheeling, West Virginia; and Steubenville, Ohio. For more information on programs and events, please visit


** Please send notices of upcoming events to the editor.


Pennsylvania continues to be underrepresented on the SAA Press Information Referral Network. Several PAC members volunteered last year, and their willingness to participate is very much appreciated. Please consider volunteering. For more information, please read the SAA Archaeological Record, Volume 4, Number 2, March 2004 or contact Renata Wolynec at



PAC encourages its members to join the Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology. It is important to foster communication between professional and avocational archaeologists. Moreover, membership in SPA supports Pennsylvania Archaeologist in which PAC members often publish. For more information please access the Web site



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I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to all PAC members who contributed to this newsletter. There would be no newsletter without your willingness to take the time out of your busy schedule to write about your work or that of your organization. I would also like to thank Mark McConaughy, Ira Beckerman, and Valerie Perazio for their prompt replies to my last minute questions, and my husband for his valuable technical support.

The deadline for the next issue is April 28, 2006. Please forward your submissions to as an e-mail attachment, Word preferred.

I wish you all a productive, satisfying, healthy, and wonderful year!
Renata B. Wolynec, Editor



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