Piney Island Face Rock

Is this face carved into a 5-inch-diameter river cobble a sort of ancient emoticon? Perhaps. It is more likely a ceremonial figure used by a shaman during tribal rituals. But it may be a purely decorative object. Archaeologists are not quite sure. What is known is that the artifact, called “Face Rock,” is the earliest of its kind found in Pennsylvania. Face Rock was unearthed on Piney Island,...
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Preserving Pieces of Pennsylvania’s Past: An Inside Look at the Building of the Commonwealth’s Collections

Associations between butterflies and buttons, Conestoga wagons and cannon, sculpture and arrowheads, or fossils and founder William Penn’s original Charter may seem tenuous, even obscure and, perhaps, nonsensical. But a relationship does exist: they are among the one and a half million objects and thirty thousand cubic feet of manuscripts, records, maps and photographs in the custody and...
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Seneca Religious Ceremony Transcript

From the period of early contact of Native Americans with European settlers through the first half of the nineteenth century, little effort was made by most Americans of European descent to understand the religious beliefs and practices of the Native peoples. This began to change in 1855 when Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s epic poem “Song of Hiawatha” captured the American imagination with a...
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