Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex

2017 Archaeological Lecture and Film Series Presents:

“Hopewell Geometry, Astronomy, and the Marietta Earthworks”
by Wesley Clark, Resident Archaeologist and Manager of Collections
at The Castle Museum in Marietta, OH

Thursday, September 28, 2017
at the

Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex

Moundsville, OH

Second Annual Workshop in Archaeology

“Experimental Archaeology: How We Know What We Know”

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Meadowcroft Museum, Avella, PA

11:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Sponsored by:

The Meadowcroft Museum,

The Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology

The Heinz Regional History Center.

Understanding past Native American behavior regarding technology is a perplexing task. To help understand change, archaeologists must have some knowledge to the purpose or function of prehistoric technology. This includes knowing how tools were made as well as used. Experimental archaeology has played an important role in providing archaeologists with examples conducted through controlled experiments which are then studied and compared to archaeological examples. Presentations in this workshop cover both the production and use of tools.

Registration is $15.00. Registration can be prepaid or paid at the registration desk at Meadowcroft.

Lunch is $12.00 and must be pre-paid in advance.

Discounts are available for students, seniors, and Heinz History Center Members.

For more information contact Dr. John Nass at

             Schedule of Events:

              ► Registration at the Door 10:30 AM to 11:00 AM

              ► 1100 AM – 11:15 Opening Remarks: Dr. John P. Nass, Jr., California University of Pennsylvania

              ► SESSION ONE: Presentations include making a dugout canoe, steatite experiments and pottery making/firing.

                     Presentations 11:00 AM – 12:45 PM

              ► Lunch: 12:45-1:30 PM

              ► SESSION TWO: Presentations include experiments and tool function relating to chipped stone projectile points, bone

                     and antler points, and microwear. Presentations: 1;30 PM – 4:45 PM

             Additional programs:

             ► 11:00 AM– 4:30 p.m. Flintknapping Demonstration
                    This presentation will feature an expert flintknapper who will demonstrate how stone tools were made during the

                    Prehistoric and Contact periods in Pennsylvania.

            ► 11:00 AM – 4:30 p.m. Site Recording in Cultural Resources Geographic Information System - Susquehanna Room.

                   State Historic Preservation Office Recording of archaeological sites is an essential task in protecting and preserving

                   our archaeological resources. Assistance in recording your archaeological sites will be provided by these qualified 


           ► 11:00 AM – 4:30 p.m. Artifact Identification – SPA chapter members. These individuals have over 50 years of combined

                  experience with archaeological artifacts. Bring in your historic or prehistoric artifacts for identification and analysis

                  by the experts.

Fort Hunter Archaeology

September 6th through October 6th, 2017

The Section of Archaeology at the State Museum will be conducting their excavation at Fort Hunter Mansion & Park.

The public is welcome to visit and archaeologists will be on site, weekdays between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm.

This year’s investigations will focus on two areas. The first is a midden area west of the milk house that was encountered in 2008 and in 2016. It consists of two layers of artifacts dating to the late 18th and/or early 19th centuries based on ceramics. Artifacts were deposited in some type of depression approximately 2.5 feet below the present ground surface. It is unclear what this represents, but it may be an early building relating to the Hunter or McAllister occupation.

The second area we plan to further investigate is a circular rock foundation, 12 feet in diameter, interpreted as the smokehouse described in an 1820’s magazine article. During excavation last year we recognized an area of hydrophobic soils in the center area of this feature.  Additional soil samples from this area will be gathered for specialized analysis. Additionally, further investigation of a small open ended rectangular structure on its north side, possibly a stove as described in historic documentation will be completed.  The recovery of 18th century artifacts and the low density of artifacts, suggests that these are indeed the early structures mentioned in documentation. We are starting to get a better picture of the cultural landscape of Fort Hunter. Mr. Hunter and Mr. McAllister were true entrepreneurs and their stories are unfolding as we uncover the archaeological record of this fascinating and important site in the development of Harrisburg.
Visitors at Fort Hunter Mansion and Park enjoy learning about the archaeological investigation and often stop by several times a week to check on our progress. This is a wonderful opportunity to visit an archaeological site and experienced volunteers are always appreciated. Please contact Kurt Carr at (717)783-9926 or for additional information or to volunteer.

Please submit your events to Pam at


Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology, Inc.