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  ...
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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...
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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  ...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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Digging Deep: 50 Years of Preservation Archaeology in Pennsylvania

On a lovely morning in early autumn, I arrive at an old farm along the Susquehanna River to find Dr. Frank Vento in his natural element. That is to say, he is squatting down at the bottom of a backhoe trench some 8 feet deep, carefully examining the many layers of flood-deposited sediment left behind by the great river. Frank, recently retired from the faculty at Clarion University, is a...
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Calver Island

With the passage of the National Historic Preservation Act 50 years ago, the federal government asserted that “the historical and cultural foundations of the nation should be preserved as a living part of our community life and development in order to give a sense of orientation to the American people.” These foundations exist not only aboveground but also belowground – the realm of...
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