PAC and SPA and You

Image from the Carnegie Blog featuring students and faculty from IUP learning about SPA’s the current rock shelter excavations. (I am in the blue).

IUP faculty and students are actively involved in both the Pennsylvania Archaeological Council (PAC) and the Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology (SPA).  This week two members of SPA chapters in the region (Amanda Valko from Allegheny Chapter 1 and Jim Barno of the Westmoreland Archaeological Society Chapter 23) wrote a blog post for the Carnegie Museum of Natural History detailing the reasons for joining these groups and how to get into contact with these two local chapters.  PAC is made up of archaeological professions, students, and highly experienced advocational archaeologists.  This group “works to advise policy and legislative interests”.  SPA is an organization for anyone interested in archaeology and consists of various chapters throughout the state.  Their focus in on “promoting the study of archaeological resources in PA, discouraging irresponsible exploration, connecting avocational and professionals, and promoting the conservation of sites, artifacts, and information”. Both organizations do very good work and are great to expanding one’s information and interest in local Pennsylvania archaeology.  The link to the full blog is below.

Pennsylvania Archaeology and You – Carnegie Museum of Natural History (carnegiemnh.org)

SPA Chapters: Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology

PAC: Pennsylvania Archaeological Council (pennarchcouncil.org)

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REAL Destruction

Location of the border wall along the south border of Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument and Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge

Border wall location: Source NY Times

Many readers are likely aware of the construction of a border wall taking place along the boundary of the Organ Pipe National Monument.  While construction and infrastructure expansion are an inevitable part of society and has the potential to impact archaeological sites, this construction project has completely negated all cultural and environmental resources legislation and is currently destroying culturally sacred sites to the local Native American Tribes.  Normally, such projects go through a survey process laid out in the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 to identify and mitigate damage to potentially important archaeological sites.  However, the REAL ID Act of 2005 allows the Secretary of Homeland Security to waive all local, state, and federal laws that would impacts construction along the border, negating all the efforts of past government officials to protect not only cultural resources and descendant communities, but also the environment and protected federal lands.

Numerous groups such as SAA

The Border wall going through Monument Hill Arizona. Source: Tuscon.com

and the Sierra Club have condemned the act and the actions following its approval.  SAA detailed their grievances in a letter to Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad F. Wolf demanding that all construction efforts cease until proper compliance regulations are completed (Link to letter here).  The construction has thus far destroyed many archaeological sites, sacred Native American burial grounds, and is currently threatening an oasis site which is not only sacred to the Tohono O’odham people but also of natural importance.  The project is using explosives to level Monument Hill, a burial location for Apache warriors.  Not only did the REAL ID Act of 2005 threaten irreplaceable resources, but it also threatens the checks and balances foundation of our government, give the Secretary of Homeland Security power over any law.

Image of Monument Hill showing a dust cloud from an explosion

Explosives being used on Monument Hill likely destroying burials. Source: azcentral.com

It is not only national and international organizations that have condemned these actions, but also news media outlets such as the Washington Post, The New York Times, NPR, and Smithsonian Magazine have also reported on the construction of this 30-foot high wall.  The lack of respect toward remains and burial grounds is not only morally abhorrent but completely goes against the principles of the Native American Grave Protection and Repatriation Act, one of the many acts subverted Homeland Security.  All the laws in place that have been waives for this wall exist for a very good reason.  They are meant to protect human rights, culture, the environment, and endangered species while also allowing for infrastructure expansion.  These laws work in harmony with construction projects not against them.  Amazing things can happen if those at the top simply understand why these so-called blocks on progress exist, how they work, and their actual impact on construction projects.  They do not stop construction or prevent the destruction of all sites.  What they do is mitigate damage in creative and efficient ways.  This might mean a full-scale excavation of the impacted area, or a rerouting of a road, or it could be simply recording what is found and proceeding with the project as planned.  Archaeologists and environmentalists are here to help infrastructure not prevent it.

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Remembering Today

Today marks the 19th anniversary of one of the darkest days in American history: the attach on The World Trade Center known only by its date, 9/11.  While many years ago now have past, it still feels like yesterday to many people and indeed is only yesterday when speaking archaeologically.  However, archaeologist played an important role shortly after the event and still work at the site and in aspects relating to the event.

Forensic anthropologists, some of whom come from archaeological backgrounds and many who have had archaeological training, worked tirelessly from the day of the attach through July 2004 to recover and identify 19,970 human remains.  This recovery operation acted similarly to archaeological excavations; sifting through piles of debris and identifying every bone or charred piece of metal.  After the collection, the remains were identified using DNA analysis and returned to their families.

Ten years after the catastrophe, an 8-acre, outdoor tree-covered 9/11 Memorial Plaza was created on Ground Zero.  This plaza contains two pools

Aerial image of the 9/11 Memorial Plaza.

surrounded by the name of the 2,977 victims of the World Trade Center, Pentagon, and Flight 93.  A year later the 9/11 Memorial Museum was opened.  This museum treats Ground Zero as it would an archaeological site, using artifacts from the disaster, location, and personal stories to transport visitors to the event.  Artifacts (rubble) from the Towers were repatriated back to the site and placed in public areas for people to walk through.  These include large pieces of steel, an elevator motor, fire engine from a company that lost 11 members, and a broadcast antenna from the North Tower.  These large artifacts and the in situ structural columns create an atmosphere similar to the ruins of other archaeological sites were visitors ask the question “what happened here”.  The museum structure itself is called Reflecting Absence and is located below the ground, drawing attention not only to its absence but the absence of the Towers themselves.  Exhibits use photographs, footage, and personal testimonies to create a soundscape allowing witnesses to narrate the exhibits rather than signs.  This is a feature that is not possible at many archaeological sites whose events took place hundreds or thousands of years ago.

 

The exposed hull of the 18th century ship. Source: Archaeology Magazine

Archaeology had one final interaction with Ground Zero.  In 2010 during the construction of a Vehicle Security Center, archaeologists monitoring the project discovered a portion of an 18th century trade ship in exceptional condition. The 32-foot-long portion of this 70-foot-long brigantine vessel likely brought livestock, wood, and food to the Caribbean and brought back sugar and other goods.  The vessel was likely brought to shore for repairs but when this section was deemed unsalvageable it was discarded.  During this time, the shoreline was expanded.  The clay-rich fill soil used to expand the shoreline covered the vessel creating an anaerobic environment perfect for preservation.   It is rare to find these vessels in such incredible condition.  The archaeologists decided the best course of action was to carefully excavate, dismantle, and preserve the ship for research.  However, because of the need to continue construction, the team had only 5 days to complete this task.

9/11 was a horrific event that sparks a huge chain of conflicts that are still going on today.  Every single person, profession, and heart was impacted by this event.  There are those heroic first responders who rushed to the scene risking and even giving up their lives to save others, the courageous passengers of Flight 93 and other regular people who acted to help others, and all those people to helped in the aftermath of the tragedy.  This even extended to archaeologists who aided in recovery and were allowed to preserve the memory of the event for all time.  Thank you so those who helped others during this time and who still help others today.

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Source: Kerrigan, Ian   2011 Exhibiting 9/11: Interpreting Archaeology and Memory at the World Trade Center Site. Exhibitionist, Fall: 20-24.

Decolonization of Archaeology

Collaborating in Archaeological Practice by Chip Colwell-Chanthaphohn and T.J. Ferguson

There is a commonly known phrase that states that history is written by the victors.  In the case of archaeology, history is written by the research which in many cases is someone outside of the culture being researched.  Many times, especially in European archaeological investigations, archaeologists are studying ancient civilizations that are no longer in existence.  However, in the United States (and across the Americas) archaeologists investigate the cultures and ancestors of living descendant communities.  Early American archaeologists were Western antiquarians who collected artifacts and researched monuments and graves in order to discover the history of their newly claimed lands.  The public wanted their new home to have a similar historical depth to it as their former European homes.  This research often involved excavating of graves and looting the grave good and human remains.  Thomas Jefferson, the father of American Archaeology, investigated the mounds near his home to discover who actually constructed them.  While this investigation did conclude that ancestors of the present Native Americans were the builders, he completely ignored the importance of the mounds to the current population.  He claims to have seen tribes gathered around the mounds but then continues to excavate what appears to be child graves without any concern for the tribe’s feelings.

Decolonizing Methodologies by Linda Tuhiwai Smith

That lack of interest in descendant communities’ cultures, feelings, ideals, and practices relating to the archaeological sites continued until the 1960s when indigenous communities began to protest sites and archaeology.  Because of these efforts, there are now laws that require consultation with Native American tribes throughout the archaeological process and enforce respect for their beliefs especially in regard to burials.  Unfortunately, these laws only go so far, and the histories of these descendant communities are still interpreted from a Western point of view.  While some people may argue that modern archaeologists attempt to interpret their finds without that Western bias, this is just not possible.  Interpretations are directly influenced but experience, culture, and ideals in which the individual lives.  With that in mind, those most qualified to interpret history is those whose history is being interpreted, meaning that indigenous people should be interpreting indigenous archaeology.  However, because archaeology is dominated by the European ethic groups who colonized the Americas, it is not possible for only those of the same background as the research subjects to interpret their material culture.  This idea also perpetuated the idea that only certain people can study certain subjects.

Access Link: https://montpelier-documents.s3.amazonaws.com/Interpreting%20Slavery%2010-30-18.pdf

The best way to combat the colonization of archaeology, is not to simply consult with indigenous populations but to directly involve them in the research.  Indigenous populations (and other descendant communities) should ask and influence research questions, guide the excavations, determine what can and cannot be excavated, and play large roles in the dissemination of information.  Participatory research also prevents the descendants from being and feeling like purely test subjects rather than active players in their own history.  They have the opportunity to answer their own questions, not just accept the answers to other people’s questions.  In the end the people who are the least bias toward history are those who are descendant from that history.  While this post has a focus on indigenous communities, participatory archaeology can be done or all descendant communities throughout the Americas and the world.

This is a tall order that will take a lot of effort to accomplish.  Not every individual in a descendant community will be active or responsive to archaeology regardless of their inclusion.  By also involving them in the public aspect, more individuals, both descendant and non-, may gain a new perspective and appreciation for the history in their own backyard.

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Sources:

Atalay, Sonya

2006    Indigenous Archaeology as Decolonizing Practice. American Indian Quarterly Special Issue Decolonizing Archaeology 30(3/4): 280-310

SAA Archaeological Record May 2010 Volume 10 Number 3 

#IAD2019

The third Saturday in October is International Archaeology Day.  Groups all across the world participate in the celebration of archaeology and its contributions to those communities.  Here in the US both national organization like the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA), Society for American Archaeology (SAA), and the American Anthropological Association (AAA) and small organization such as the Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology, and the IUP Anthropology Department host event in honor if this holiday.  This year, IAD falls on Saturday, October 19th.

Archaeology Day was first celebrated in 2011.  This firs IAD had 115 programs including 38 US states who celebrated National Archaeology Day.  Since then the program has grown immensely. In 2017 there were over 900 events and 600 participating organization.  Of those the United States hosted 500 events.  Also in 2011, the US Congress passed that the entire month of October is to celebrate archaeology and specifically October 22, 2011 will be National Archaeology Day.

“Mr. CAPUNANO [Hon. Michael E. Capuano of Massachusetts]. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to support the designation of October 22, 2011 as National Archaeology Day. Throughout the month of October, but particularly on the 22nd, archaeological societies across the country will celebrate the thousands of years of history that have been unlocked through artifacts and discoveries” (Source: AIA website, For full text click here).

IUP is hosting out annual Archaeology Day Open House on October 19th from 12:00-3:00 in honor of International Archaeology Day.  There are many activities for the whole family.  We have a Kidz room with pottery puzzles, cave painting, and wampum beading.  Students from IUP’s Anthropology Department will also be teaching the public about human evolution, animal bones, and how to be a good archaeological citizen.  Representatives from the Westmoreland chapter of SPA will be discussing their excavations and identifying artifacts.  If you have an artifact at home you want to know more about bring it and see if you can stump our experts. Outside we will have a mock excavation, atlatl demonstrations, and flint knapping demonstrations (although she will be using chert).

The event is free, open to everyone who wants to learn about archaeology, and Insomnia Cookies has donated cookies for visitors.  Hope to see you there!

 

 

 

 

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Oh Indy

All archaeologists agree that Indiana Jones, while a dreamy professor, is a terrible archaeologist and is more akin to grave robbers than archaeologists.  Although a majority of the actions in these films are fictional, they are based on real world facts.  In Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indy is chased by the Chachapoyan Tribe.  This was a real-life tribe who lived in Peru just prior to the Spanish invasion.  They were conquered by the Inca in 1450.  The temple Indiana Jones robbed was similar to the actual Chachapoyan temple of Kuelap.  Like the fictional temple, Kuelap has a long narrow entrance way that was probably designed as a defensive measure.  The biggest discrepancy is that Kuelap does not have a large rolling boulder that chases looter down the narrow hallway.

Now let’s talk a little about Nazis.  I think it was one of archaeology’s proudest fake moments when Indy punched the Nazi.  This iconic image has become a running meme for archaeologists and very few of us desire to argue against that image.  So real world: Hitler did steal and hide many historically significant artifacts.  There mostly consisted of highly valuable statues, paintings, and books that he stole from Jewish families and businesses and hid in caves across Europe.  The actions of the Monuments Men returned some of these priceless treasures to the public.  While many of the treasures Hitler’s men hunter were real-life works of art, they did pursue mythical artifacts such as the Spear of Destiny, The Holy Grail, and The Ark of the Covenant. The Raiders film could depict what might have happened if the                                                                                    Nazis did find the Ark.

Regardless of all his faults, the Indiana Jones franchise inspired many archaeologists.  Statistics show an increase in archaeology students after the premiere of the first movie.  As well, many famous archaeologists admit to being inspired by Indy.  In 2015 the National Geographic Museum created an exhibit combining the thrills of Indiana Jones with actual artifacts and archaeological education material. Along with inspiring future archaeologists, George Lucas was inspired by real archaeologists including Hiram Bingham, Roy Chapman Andrews, and Sir Leonard Woolley.  Lucas based the films off of the feeling of discovery we all experience.  He did not include many of the necessary but admittedly boring paperwork, layer-by-layer excavation, and cataloging.

Even though these films portray archaeologists as gun toting, whip cracking, Nazi punching, action heroes, we must remember that we are even cooler than that because we take detailed field notes, photograph, map, and preserve the world’s past.

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The “D” Word…Dinosaurs

If you are an archaeologist, you have probably had to spend a lot of time trying to explain to people that you do not excavated dinosaur bones.  This can be a difficult thing to get across because fossils are generally fascinating and the practice of paleontology has a lot in common with archaeology.  In fact, many paleontologists do not even study dinosaurs.  Both studies use similar recording methods, focusing of stratigraphy, chemical and biological analysis, and careful excavation.  The main different is that paleontologists usually work on a much larger time scale than archaeologists.

The common paleontology term, fossil, was used in the 1600s (during these discipline s infancies) to describe anything that was dug up.  This does not mean it has to be millions for years old or even petrified.  It wasn’t until the 1730s when the term was defined as geological remains.  Between those time periods the beloved term artifact was actually fossil (etymology.com).  Not only do we share terminology we also share our favorite chronology tool – STRATIGRAPHY!  Nils Steensen (Steno) recognized a relationship between tongue-stones (shark teeth) and the sediment layers.  He defined normal thought to say that these strata developed and changes and were not deposited solely by the Great Flood. Later archaeologist such as John Frere discovered that some of the fossils dubbed fairy arrows and thunderbolts were actually stone tools created by humans and could be used to date stratigraphic layers (Harris 1989)

Along with scaring principle research terminology, archaeology and paleontology also have similar sub-fields only distinct in the items of study.  Paleobotanists and archaeobotanists both study plant remains.  However, the paleobotanist studies fossilized plants while the archaeobotanist prefers to work with more recently deposited plant remains.  Both fields have specialties in taphonomy or the study of how living things decay and the biotic or abiotic (mostly seen in archaeology) factors that impact the remains after deposition.  Where things begin to get confusing is in the study of fossilized humans and human evolution or paleoanthropology.  Being as this discipline focuses on fossils but also on human remains it can be considered to be a part of both fields.  This is a distinct overlap that has led to amazing discovers in the realm of human evolution.

With so many overlaps it can be easy to see how people can confuse Indiana Jones with Jurassic Park.   The key here is in nicely, patiently, and happily educating the public on the differences and similarities of paleontology and archaeology.  We need to be able to communicate the complexities of our disciplines in a way that is easily understood but respectful and holistic to both disciples.  While I am sure every archaeologist is tired of hearing “dig up any good dinosaurs?” we must remember that many of our paleontologist cousins feel the same.

 

Can you dig it?

Reference:

Harris, Edward

1989 Principles of archaeological stratigraphy. 2nd ed. Academic Press, London.

 

IUP Anthropology

Archaeology Day 2018

This past Saturday, in the middle of midterms, we hosted our annual International Archaeology Day Open House.  For once in Indiana, PA the weather decided to surprise us in a kind manner.  For what was supposed to be a day of rain turned into a rather nice day even if it was a little chilly.    It made for a spectacular Archaeology Day.  The weather was good enough for our largest attraction to be set up, the atlatl range!  You don’t even need to know the word atlatl to know that throwing spears is incredibly fun.  Though I will clarify, an atlatl is a tool that extends your reach and lets you throw a spear harder and farther than you could without.

Andy the atlatl guy talking a guest through how to use an atlatl.

She hit the target.

After being drawn in by the tempting offer of spear throwing, there was a whole floor of McElhaney dedicated to archaeology in various forms.  From historic and pre-contact artifacts to flotation, zooarchaeology, archaeology in the media and more.  Frankly it would be more fun to just show you so take a little look below.

Chris showing off a bow he made.

Tyler shows folks the ropes (and how they are made)

Chris showing off his knowledge of pre-contact tech.

Jessie handling the pre-contact table.

Janee running the zooarchaeology table.

A nice gathering of folks around the atlatls and pre-contact technologies.

Mace shows what a real archaeologist looks like. *SPOILER: There’s a mirror in the center*

Is it trash or treasure? Well, Angela’s reluctance to be in a photo definitely created a treasure.

Carlos and Heather bustin’ myths about archaeology.

Jared does his thing with the 3D printer.

Brianna talks shop about hominin and hominid skulls

I would like to share a few final thoughts and I encourage replies in the comment section below. We had a smaller turnout this year than years past.  That was partly advertising, partly weather, and partly timing as this year’s Archaeology Day did not fall along homecoming.  I’m nowhere near disappointed though.  Actually, it’s the opposite, I’m ecstatic because those who showed up took interest in what we had to offer.  Quite a few people hung around for a good hour or so (a third of the events length) and asked questions.  There’s a part of me that wants to reach out to as many people as possible but if overall numbers drop while engagement is increased, I’m fine with that.  I wonder if people were more willing and eager to engage because the turnout was smaller, there wasn’t a feeling that you needed to rush along.

I would like to give a special thanks to Andy and Lori Majorsky for giving their awesome atlatl demonstrations, Susanna Haney for the flint knapping demo, and last, but certainly not least, everyone that came together to make Archaeology Day a success!

IUP Anthropology Department

Humanity and Science Unearth Together at St. Mary’s College of Maryland’s Historical Archaeology Field School

By Mace Long

 

During the summer, I spent ten weeks concentrating on gaining skills in excavation, data collection and archeological recording in the field, laboratory and classroom at the St Mary’s College of Maryland Historical Archeological Field School. At the late 17th century Leonard Calvert House, I personally unearthed part of a horseshoe, a lock mechanism, Rhenish stoneware, Venetian glass, creamware, projectile points, fragments of oyster shells, iron nails, pieces of clay tobacco pipes and much more. Chief Archaeologist Travis Parno emphasized that “these excavations at the site of Maryland’s first capital have revolutionized the understanding of colonial architecture and the material culture of the period.”

The archeological field school site is part of Historic St Mary’s City surrounded by a large living history area, museum and The Maryland Dove ship. While spending full days excavating at the site, we took turns giving public tours. It was fulfilling to be able to discuss the background history and present the successes of our dig site.

 

 

 

 

 

During the Tidewater Archaeology Weekend, I witnessed the incredible instructive value of allowing people of all ages to sift through dirt themselves and be educated physically with exciting hands-on participation. In addition, I greatly enjoyed the variety of field trips to Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown and Montpelier where we observed methods used by other sites.

As part of the St Mary’s College of Maryland’s Historical Archaeological field school, we boarded and rode the Maryland Dove learning all kinds of techniques and mechanisms regarding 17th century ships. (IUP Graduate Student Mace Long)

The St Mary’s College of Maryland Historical Archaeological Field School was one of the most incredible educational experiences of my life, as it heightened my understanding of A.L. Kroeber’s quote “[Archaeology] is the most humanistic of the sciences and the most scientific of the humanities.”

 

Photos provided by Mace Long and the Historic Saint Mary’s City Field School Blog

IUP Department of Anthropology

Upcoming Graduate Student Research Presentations from the UK to VA

By: Genevieve Everett

Conference season is upon us! I thought it would be nice to highlight the graduate students that are representing IUP and our department by presenting their research in the form of papers and posters at the following conferences/forums:

  1. The Middle Atlantic Archaeological Conference (MAAC) in Virginia Beach, VA- March 15-18
  2. The Graduate Scholars Forum at KCAC on IUPs campus, April 4
  3. The 89th Annual  Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology(SPA) Meeting in DuBois, PA- April 6-8
  4. The Annualy Society for American Archaeology (SAA) Conference in Washington, DC- April 11-15
  5. The Seminar for Arabian Studies (SAS) in Bloomsbury, London-August 3-5

Below you will read about each student’s individual project/research and which conferences/forum you can find them at this year!

Kristina Gaugler

Presenting research at: IUP Graduate Students Forum

Spatial Database Development for Confluence Park Master Plan

The goal of this project is to create a series of spatial data layers that document the existing environmental conditions at Confluence Park, a 15 acre site managed by the Allegheny Arboretum at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. These maps will contribute to the develop of a support system designed to complement future site planning activities and will include the current topography, vegetation, hydrology, existing structures, and site access points. Factors that may influence the decisions of future planning or construction will be assessed, including the location and condition of on-site sewage systems and retention ponds, riparian zones, and a rapid-bio assessment of streams. This information will help delineate locations on the site that may be suitable for future development. With the tools and basemaps created, users will be able to overlay applications to suit their needs and allow for varying types of analyses to be performed.

Britney Elsbury-Orris

Presenting research at: SPA and SAA

The Kirshner Site (36WM213) is a multi-component site in South Huntington township, Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania that contains two Middle Monongahela villages. Relatively little is known about Monongahela use of animals.  Fortunately, good faunal preservation has made zooarchaeological analyses of materials from this site possible. Identifying and analyzing these faunal remains with respect to taxa and skeletal elements, as well as human and animal modifications, provides important new information. The distribution of faunal remains across the features of the site and its two components has been examined, as they have the implications for relationships between the site’s inhabitants and their environment. These data provide insights into the nature of this site and the activities of its occupants. Comparisons with other faunal studies, like those done on zooarchaeological materials from other Middle Monongahela sites, including the Johnston Site (36IN2) and the Hatfield Site (36WH678), further expands on the understanding of the Kirshner Site and the Middle Monongahela tradition.

Matthew Bjorkman

Presenting research at: IUP Graduate Scholars Forum

Indiana County FEMA Data-based Flood Hazard Analysis

Co-authored with Eisbeiry Cordova-Ortiz & Shanice Ellison

In the past decade we have frequently seen the effects of intense precipitation events, particularly the damage they cause in populated areas. Due to the increased frequency of these events, state and local government officials across the country have developed flood hazard analyses for their jurisdictions. Taking this into consideration, Indiana county is developing a flood management plan to prepare for any adverse effects caused by 100-year storms. Using ArcGIS, a geodatabase was developed to build a 100-year flood depth grid (FDG) using Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) data from Pennsylvania Spatial Data Access (PASDA).  The FDG was used to identify structures that are located in a flood zone and would be susceptible to damage. This project highlights concentrations of vulnerable buildings and provides the value of the estimated monetary damages. These results will assist the county with its development of its comprehensive emergency management plan.

Using LiDAR to Analyze Landscape Evolution: A Case Study of the Squirrel Hill Site (36WM0035)

Light detection and ranging (LiDAR) is an active remote sensing system that has, on occasion, been used by archaeologists to conduct paleolandscape reconstruction studies. Understanding what the landscape looked like is essential for archaeologists to determine how prehistoric sites formed. Rivers are a primary operator in landscape evolution, as meandering and avulsing rivers can create major alterations to a landscape through deposition and erosional processes. Changes in a river’s position on the landscape will have great impacts on the location and preservation potential of archaeological sites This study utilizes LiDAR data from Indiana and Westmoreland counties in Pennsylvania to study landscape evolution near the archaeological site of Squirrel Hill, a Monongahela village site. The goal of the research was to use remote sensing technologies to identify and map extinct channels of the Conemaugh River to understand how the evolution of the landscape around the Squirrel Hill site has affected the site’s formation and preservation.

Samantha Taylor

Presenting research at: MAAC, SPA, SAA

Looking Through Dirty Dishes: A Comparative Analysis of Ceramics at the John and Rosie Allen Residence, Pandenarium, Mercer County, Pennsylvania.

African Diaspora archaeology has become one of the most impactful means by which archaeologists supplement our current understanding of the past. Not only does this subfield have the potential to benefit descendant and local communities, but it also enables professionals to fill in the blank gaps left by the systematic disenfranchisement and intentional illiteracy of an entire group of people. One site with the potential to enhance our understanding of the African Diaspora is Pandenarium (36ME253) a freed African American settlement in western Pennsylvania. Current research at Pandenarium focuses on a comparative ceramic analysis with nearby archaeological sites, other freed African American sites, and slave quarters at plantations. The goal of this research is to determine the socio-economic status of individuals living at Pandenarium, along with participation in local and regional markets. The results of the analysis featured in this paper are a foundation for future comparative studies featuring Pandenarium.

Mesfer Alqahtani

Presenting poster at: SAA and the IUP Graduate Scholars Forum

Presenting paper at: SAS

SAA:

GIS Investigations on Stone-Circle Structures in the North of Saudi Arabia

The theme of the poster will address archaeological phenomena in the north of Saudi Arabia. The archaeological phenomena are stone-built structures that can be seen by satellite images. These stone-built structures have various types, and one of them is the circle type.

The poster will show the method of creating predictive models of stone circles by using the Geographic Information System (GIS). To create these models, two zones from the north of Saudi Arabia should be selected: study zone and applied zone. The study zone is where the distribution of stone circle locations will be analyzed to create predictive models. The applied zone is where predictive models will be applied to be testable in the future.

The predictive models will be based on quantifiable attributes of stone-circle locations from the study zone. These attributes will include the relationship between stone-circle locations and environmental variables such as the landform and the distance of water resources. These attributes will be analyzed by ArcGIS to obtain environmental characteristics representing high, middle, or low probability models for the presence of stone-circle locations. In the applied zone, similar environmental characteristics will be identified to determine high, middle, low predictive models.

SAS:

Geospatial Investigation of Circular Stone Structures in Northern Saudi Arabia

The paper will focus on the circular type of stone-built structures in Harrat Al-Harrah of northern Saudi Arabia. The goal of the research is to recognize the locational patterns for these circular structures based on five quantifiable geographic attributes: elevation, slope, land-cover, distance to sabkhas (temporary water bodies), and distance to wadies (water streams).

The probability modeling methodology conducted uses Remote Sensing and GIS technologies. This study includes identified locations of circular structures in one zone to create the model and a second zone to test the model (225 square miles and 81 squared miles total) of Harrat Al-Harrah, examining the correlative relationship between these locations and the five geographic factors. The results show the favorable geographic factors related to the locations of circular structures in the two zones of Harrat Al-Harrah.

The significance of this research lies in the contribution of recognizing the locational patterns of circular stone structures in two zones of Harrat Al-Harrah that have never been studied before and difficult to access. This pattern will be useful for comparative studies with locational patterns of circular structures in other areas of the Arabian Peninsula when conducting more investigations on this type of stone structures.

IUP Graduate Scholar Forum:

Geospatial investigation of circular stone structures in Northern Saudi Arabia

The theme of this poster will address stone-built structures in northern Saudi Arabia. Specifically, the circular type stone-built structure will be the focus of this research. Stone-built structures are an archaeological phenomena that can be seen via satellite images within this region of the world.

The goal of the research is to recognize the pattern of geographic locations for these circular stone-built structures based on five quantifiable geographic attributes. These attributes include elevation, slope, land-cover, distance to sabkhas (temporary water bodies), and distance to wadies (water streams). Remote Sensing and GIS technologies are used to conduct probability modeling for this research. This study includes identifying all the locations of circular structures in one zone, building a model for their locations, and then examining a second zone using the model. The results show the favorable locations for circular structures in these two zones based on the model.

Ross Owen

Presenting research at: SAA

PennDOT Highway Archaeological Survey Team: Providing Immersive CRM Work Experience to Students

Despite there being more applicants with graduate degrees than there are jobs, the CRM industry suffers from the number of people holding graduate degrees but lacking experience conducting archaeological surveys for Section 106 compliance. Additionally, conducting archaeological surveys is cost-prohibitive and can be a burden on state agencies on projects where federal funds are not involved. These two issues in the field of compliance archaeology prompted the creation of the PennDOT Highway Archaeological Survey Team (PHAST). Through a partnership with Indiana University of Pennsylvania, each year PHAST gives 4 students an opportunity to work on and complete small Phase I and II surveys for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. The students gain experience in the field, and are employed in the lab to perform the necessary background research, GIS mapping, curation and documentation following the guidelines of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. Much of this experience is outside the purview of most field technician positions. This paper will explore the successes and failures of the PHAST program from both a professional and financial point of view. How have the students benefitted from their experience within the program, and how has the state benefitted from the services provided?

Andrew Malhotra

Presenting research at: SPA (Co-authored with John Nass, Jr. (Callifornia University of Pennsylvania)

Presenting research at: IUP Graduate Scholars Forum

SPA:

Social Signaling and the use of Style Amongst Late Prehistoric Monongahela Populations: Possible Evidence for Intervillage Political Integration

Communication between groups of people occurs for different reasons and, when using material culture, can take many forms. During the Late Prehistoric period evidence of social signaling in the form of shared stylistic traits appears at several late Monongahela villages from southwestern Pennsylvania. The stylistic trait consists of various forms of executing lip decoration on ceramic jars. The form of decoration using various tools results in the lip looking like a piecrust. This specific form of decoration appears from the Johnson site in Indiana County to the Foley Farm site in Greene County.In is the intent of this paper to document the temporal and spatial documentation and the social/political significance of this stylistic design is the subject of this paper.

IUP Graduate Scholars Forum:

Sanborn Maps of Indiana: Reconstructing the Urban Geography of Indiana, PA

This project will consist of analysis of Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps from 1887-1936 of Indiana Borough in order to depict urban growth patterns, major employers and how these factors changed over time. These maps were brought into ArcMap 10.5 to be georeferenced with road intersections and buildings, digitizing the most important ones. Attribute data including census and city directory data was also extracted for database creation. Through construction of a detailed database and data extraction of these maps, the goals of documenting and analyzing how the borough of Indiana and its people have developed and changed through the target years can be achieved. A future goal is to develop an interactive map with attribute information about its features for use by the public and historical society.

Genevieve Everett

Presenting Research at: SAA and Graduate Student Forum (abstract for forum not provided)

From Field School to Graduate School: How One Public Archaeology Program Has Made It All Possible

The Paleoindian Period of New Hampshire has been studied extensively, particularly in the White Mountains. Volunteers and avocationals from the summer field school known as the State Conservation And Rescue Archaeology Program (SCRAP) have excavated several of the known Paleoindian sites in northern New Hampshire. It is the goal of New Hampshire State Archaeologist, Richard Boisvert to make information and data recovered by SCRAP accessible to scholars as potential thesis and dissertation topics.

This paper outlines how the principal investigators participation in the SCRAP field school has been beneficial to her professional and academic career, including her current Master’s thesis. The purpose of this thesis is to produce a spatial and statistical analysis of the artifact assemblage from excavation block K at the Potter Site (27-CO-60) located in Randolph, New Hampshire in comparison with the Jefferson VI (27-CO-74) salvage block in Jefferson, New Hampshire. This comparison not only examines the spatial relationships within one Paleoindian site (27-CO-60), but also helps the principal investigator make inferences about the similarities and differences between two Paleoindian sites in close proximity. Public archaeology programs such as SCRAP are a valuable part of North American Archaeology, without SCRAP this work would not be possible.

Zaakiyah Cua

Presenting research at: SAA and the IUP Graduate Scholars Forum

SAA:

Loyalhanna Lake: a Geoarchaeological Approach to Understanding the Archaeological Potential of Floodplains

Unlike uplands, floodplains generally yield stratified deposits that may include deeply buried landscapes and archaeological sites. Most state specifications for cultural resources surveys require floodplains to be geomorphically evaluated in order to identify buried landscapes. This is most frequently accomplished via trenching, an effective, but timely, costly, and sometimes destructive method. This project reports on an alternative technique utilizing a multi-proxy methodology coupling geophysical survey with auger sampling. These non-invasive and limited-impact methods produce accurate results without causing extensive destruction to cultural resources. The study area, located along Loyalhanna Creek in Westmoreland Country in western Pennsylvania, is managed by the US Army Corps of Engineers – Pittsburgh District (USACE). As a federal agency, the USACE is mandated to identify and preserve cultural resources by Section 110 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA). Unfortunately, federal agencies often face limited staffing, resources and funding to address management of cultural resources. In addition to proposing a method for identifying buried landscapes, this project also provides a case study of partnerships between federal agencies and public universities; a mutually beneficial collaboration which provides agencies with data essential to land management while simultaneously providing students valuable opportunities to conduct cultural resource management assessments.

IUP Graduate Scholars Forum:

Misery Bay Ice Survey Preliminary Results: a Case Study for Testing Geophysical Methods and Collaboration with Stakeholders

Ground-penetrating radar (GPR) and gradiometry are two geophysical methods typically used by archaeologists in terrestrial environments to locate subsurface features. This study took terrestrial geophysical methods out on the frozen ice surface of Misery By, Presque Isle State Park, PA; testing instrument limits across two acres of the bay. If successful, this study has major implications to geophysical maritime investigations, broadening the reach of cultural resource management within these environments by government agencies. In addition to testing new methodology, the project was a collaboration between the PA DCNR, Regional Science Consortium, PA Sea Grant, PASST, and Indiana University of Pennsylvania Applied Archaeology program. The collaborative and public nature of the project drew in stakeholders, largely contributing to the success of the study. This poster presents the preliminary results of the project; both a case study for testing new methods, and the positive implications for collaborative and public cultural resource surveys.

Heather R. MacIsaac

Presenting research at: IUP Graduate Scholars Forum

The Squirrel Hill site in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, was a Monongahela village inhabited from A.D. 1450 to A.D. 1613. Past research conducted by IUP archaeologists at the Squirrel Hill site uncovered evidence of housing, storage areas, and burials. There are conflicting interpretations of the village’s development and expansion over time. One interpretation is that the site contains a single village with an open, central plaza for communal activities, and that the village gradually expanded southward. Another interpretation is that the site contains two overlapping villages occupied at different times. To evaluate these interpretations, this research incorporates a statistical analysis of artifacts and a spatial analysis of structural features based on materials from the 2016 IUP archaeological field school. This research also investigates whether the Squirrel Hill site was inhabited by Monongahela traditional people only or by an amalgamation of Monongahela tradition and nearby McFate phase people.

 

IUP ANTHROPOLOGY DEPARTMENT