Piecing Together Pandenarium: Archaeology at the Site of a Free Black Community in Western Pennsylvania

In 1854 newly freed African American men, women and children hailing from a plantation in Ablemarle County, Virginia, arrived at a dusty country crossroads in northwestern Pennsylvania’s Mercer County. Estimates vary, but approximately 63 free people settled together on 100 acres of their own land. Local abolitionists prepared for the arrival by building houses along the hill, digging wells, and...
read more

Editor’s Letter

History is revisited and revised not only because newly found or overlooked evidence is uncovered through the years but also because distance in time and transformations in society often call for a fresh outlook to provide context and meaning for readers today. The features in this edition of Pennsylvania Heritage are written by experts who have been involved in extensive research in their...
read more

Pennsylvania Heritage Foundation Newsletter

Topics in the Winter 2021 Newsletter: PHF Continues Partnership with The State Museum on Art of the State Art of the State Ceremony and Tours Presented Virtually for 2020 PHF Cosponsors Virtual Archaeology Workshops   Winter-2021-phf-newsletter  ...
read more

House on a Hill: Connecting with the Past in Western Pennsylvania

“It is our family and local histories that are our most precious parts of culture, in my estimation. They put ‘meat on the bones’ of the artifacts we find. Of course, all family history is myth until we have the documentation that backs it up.” — Lynne Humphries-Russ   The narrow access road was hidden, and I almost missed the turnoff. I was anxious to see the...
read more

Pennsylvania Heritage Foundation Newsletter

Topics in the Spring 2020 Newsletter: PHF Sponsors Opening Reception for Violet Oakley Exhibition PHF Cosponsors Workshops in Archaeology, with Focus on PA’s Native American Cultures America250PA Honors Servicemembers and Veterans  ...
read more

Archaeology at the Site of the Museum of the American Revolution by Rebecca Yamin

Archaeology at the Site of the Museum of the American Revolution A Tale of Two Taverns and the Growth of Philadelphia by Rebecca Yamin Temple University Press, 152 pp., paperback $19.95 Philadelphia’s rich archaeological heritage has benefited from urban archaeologist Rebecca Yamin’s passion for telling the stories of the colonists in one of America’s earliest cities. Research and excavations...
read more

Pleistocene Preserved: The Lost Bone Cave of Port Kennedy

On October 29, 1895, more than 90 members attended a meeting at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia. Following the routine business of the publication committee’s report and the announcement of one member’s death, Henry Chapman Mercer (1856–1930) rose to speak about the ongoing exploration of a geological feature known as Irwin’s Cave in Montgomery County. The Philadelphia Inquirer...
read more

The Oshnock Archaeology Collection

Archaeologists at The State Museum of Pennsylvania plan to spend this summer entering thousands of Native American artifacts collected from western Pennsylvania into a database that will organize the objects according to specific sites and locations. It’s a lot of work, but not nearly as much as curators typically tackle when inventorying similar collections, thanks to the brothers...
read more

Shawnee-Minisink Archaeological Site

The Shawnee-Minisink site in Monroe County contains some of the earliest evidence of human occupation in eastern North America, carbon-14 dated to around 11,000 BCE. While other sites from the Paleoindian period have been found, very few have been undisturbed. Buried beneath nearly 8 feet of sediment, the archaeological deposits of Shawnee-Minisink remained protected for ages. Archaeologists...
read more

Editor’s Letter

Forgotten human history exists beneath us in Pennsylvania, from as far back as 20,000 years ago to as recently as the previous century. In the last 50 years, many lost worlds have been recovered as a result of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (NHPA). A provision in NHPA, popularly known by its number in the document, Section 106, calls for the heads of federal agencies to “take...
read more