Friday, September 15, 2017

A 2fer: Triangles and Archaeology

The Triangular Shaped Projectile Points
The First Week of Archaeology at Fort Hunter

The main topic for this week’s blog is a very common artifact in Pennsylvania, the triangular projectile point. It is especially oriented to the projectile point nerds in our audience - those readers who are fascinated with the shapes of projectile points and how they are grouped into types. To our readers who are interested in artifacts – their age, function and how they were made – this blog is for you.

Triangular projectile points or arrow heads are associated with the Late Woodland period - dating from 900 AD to 1550 AD. Archaeologists have long recognized that there seems to be two different shapes or types of triangles in the Northeast. The slightly larger form was named the Levanna type by William Ritchie (1961). This type is approximately as wide as it is long, like an equilateral triangle, and usually with a concave base. According to Ritchie (1961) they average 3.1 cm to 4.5 cm in length; they are usually well flaked and date between 900 AD and 1350 AD. It is assumed they were used as arrow points. In Pennsylvania, this type is associated with Clemson Island and Owasco pottery types. 
Levanna Points
The second type, first described by Scully (1951), is the Madison type. It averages 2.5 cm long and is more commonly isosceles in shape or longer than wide. Although the two types clearly overlap in time, Madison triangles are generally thought to date after the Levanna type from 1300 AD to 1600 AD. In the Ohio Valley of Pennsylvania, these are sometimes referred to as Mississippian or Fort Ancient points and they are associate with the Monongahela culture. A sample of 50 Shenks Ferry triangular points from the Quarry site in Lancaster County (36La1100) dating to approximately 1500 AD, averaged 2.1 cm in length. Interestingly, a study conducted by Graybill et al. found that there was a reduction in the width of these points between early Shenks Ferry and late Shenks Ferry.

Madisson Triangles from the Quarry site
   Although some archaeologists have argued that not all triangles could be pigeonholed into the Levanna or Madison type, it was believed that all triangular projectile points dated to the Late Woodland period and functioned as arrow points. However, in New England and New York, other types of triangular projectile point types have been found in Archaic contexts. The Beekman triangle is described by Ritchie (1971) as being associated with Late Archaic, Vosburg points in New York State dating to 4700 BP. He described these as equilateral in shape with excurvate or straight edges, and with moderate grinding of the base. On Martha’s Vineyard, Ritchie (1971) identified Squibnocket triangles in Late Archaic contexts, dating to 4200 BP. These were shaped like equilateral or isosceles triangles but with no grinding on the base. Hunterbrook triangles (Wingerson and Wingerson 1976) were defined based on the Hunter Brook Rockshelter along the Hudson River as equilateral in shape with excurvate edges and a ground and thinned base. However, Archaic triangles were rare and limited to New York and New England. For some archaeologists, there was a lingering question as to whether these were really Archaic in age or were they Late Woodland points that had washed into Archaic strata.
    Beginning in the 1990’s, the chronological interpretation of these points began to change with the excavation of a large number of triangles from stratified Archaic sites at the Abbott Farm Complex along the Delaware River in New Jersey. This was unequivocal evidence that triangular points were being made and used during the Archaic period.  The radiocarbon dates from the Area D site (28Me1-D) at Abbott Farm extended the age of these points back to 6500 BP. Since that time, a number of other sites in Pennsylvania, such as Memorial Park (36Cn164), West Water Street (36Cn175), East Bank (36Nb16), Mifflinville (36Co17), Raker (36Nb58), P-11(36Pe60) and the Wallis site (36Pe16) have produced dates on Beekman or Hunterbrook triangles ranging from 6500 BP to 3600 BP.

Archaic Triangles from the Abbott Farm Complex (Custer 2001)
   There has been an effort to physically distinguish Archaic triangles from later Woodland triangles at the Abbott Farm Complex. Stewart (1998) states that a “healthy percentage” of Archaic triangles can be distinguished from Late Woodland triangles by “1) a patterned approach to the pressure flaking of bases, and 2) the asymmetrical aspect of the basal edge angle.” In addition, they exhibit “finer workmanship, symmetry and thinness than later types” (Wall et al. 1996: 10). Katz (2000) on the other hand, presents data that suggest that Archaic through Early Woodland triangles are difficult to distinguish from Late Woodland triangles.
   There is one final lingering question. How were Archaic triangles used? Archaic triangles are indistinguishable from Late Woodland triangles so, logically, we might conclude that they also functioned as arrow points.
     Triangular points such as the Madison and Levanna types are practically synonymous with the Late Woodland period, the introduction of the bow and arrow, well-made pottery, the introduction of farming; and village life. The received wisdom is that Indian populations were increasing; they began growing corn to feed the additional people; the bow and arrow was a more efficient for hunting compared to the atlatl; and it was also a more effective weapon in warfare. However, it is now clear that this scenario is rather simplistic and the appearance of the bow and arrow occurred much earlier.

Opening Excavations for the 2017 Season at Fort Hunter
The excavations at the Fort Hunter site (36Da159) were opened on September 7th, delayed one day by rain. The main areas for this year’s work are the smokehouse and the western trench. The backfill was removed from the western trench and the walls were cut and the floor troweled in the smokehouse block. The western trench is situated directly north of the mansion. It was first opened in 2008 and subsequently expanded in 2016. It is an area that contains multiple layers of late 18th, early 19th century occupations over a series of prehistoric occupations. The area probably relates to either the fort period (1756-1763) or the early to middle McAllister period (1787-1830).
West block

In the smokehouse block, several suspected features from last year were more easily defined. These will be further investigated to better define the smokehouse structure and to determine if this was also the site of an earlier smokehouse. Towards the end of this season, the smokehouse foundation will be removed to recover artifacts that may more exactly determine the date of this structure.
Smokehouse block
We had a very interesting interview with Marcus Schneck of Pennlive that will be aired the week of September 18th.
Marcus Schneck Interview
This is going to be an exciting excavation season, so please join us. The site is open to the public from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm weekdays, weather permitting. Friday the 15th  (TONIGHT), we are celebrating 3rd in the Burg so the site will be opened until 6:00 pm.  This coming Sunday, September 17th is Fort Hunter Day and we will be open for public visitation and will be excavating from 10:00 am until 5:00 pm.
We hope to see you there!
Custer, Jay F.
2001    Classification Guide for Arrowheads and Spearpoints of Eastern Pennsylvania and the Central Middle Atlantic, Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Harrisburg.
Graybill, Jeffrey R., James T. Herbstritt, Andrea J. Carr and Melanie R.Wing
2014    Shenks Ferry Triangles, Seriation and Dating. Pennsylvania Archaeologist 84(2): 36-41.
Katz, Gregory
2000    Archaic Period Triangular Projectile Points in the Middle Atlantic Region. Paper  
            presented at the 65th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology,
Ritchie, William A
1961    A Typology and Nomenclature for New York Projectile Points. New York State Museum
            Science Service, Bulletin No. 384, Albany.
1971    A Typology and Nomenclature for New York Projectile Points. New York State Museum and Science Service Bulletin No. 384. Albany, New York.
Scully, Edward
1951    Some Central Mississippi Valley Projectile Point Types. Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan
Stewart, R. Michael
1998    Archaic Triangles at the Abbott Farm National Landmark: Typological Implications
            For Prehistoric Studies in the Middle Atlantic Region. Paper accompanying an
            exhibit of Archaic-Age Bifaces at the Annual Meeting of the Middle Atlantic
            Archaeological Conference, Cape May, New Jersey. Sponsored by the Archaeological
            Society of New Jersey and the New Jersey Department of Transportation.
Wall, Robert D., R. Michael Stewart, and John Cavallo
1996    The Lithic Technology of the Trenton Complex. Trenton Complex Archaeology: Report 13. Prepared for the Federal Highway Administration and the New Jersey Department of Transportation by the Cultural Resource Group, Louis Berger & Associates, Inc., East Orange, New Jersey.
Wingerson, Roberta and Richard Wingerson
1976    The Hunter Brook Rockshelter.  Bulletin of the New York State Archaeological Association 68:19-28. 


For more information, visit or the Hall of Anthropology and Archaeology at The State Museum of Pennsylvania .

Friday, September 1, 2017

Meet The State Museum Archaeologists at Kipona, Fort Hunter, and the 2017 Annual Workshops

Kipona Festival and Pow Wow on City Island
September 2nd-4th

This Labor Day weekend, State Museum archaeologists and volunteers will be out in the community to answer questions about the archaeology of City Island, prehistoric Native American lifeways, and our mission as stewards of Pennsylvania’s past. You will have the opportunity to learn more about experimental archaeology too.  As in previous years, our booth is located on the west, back side of the Senators Stadium on City Island. Look for the Archaeology banner flag.

Setting up on City Island for the big event.

The exhibit will highlight the over 8,000-year-old archaeological record of Pennsylvania Indians visiting and living on City Island. You can also take a journey back in time by sitting in our 20-foot replica dugout canoe, and handle some of the woodworking stone tools, called adzes, we made and used to carve out the dugout. The design and function of our replica tools was loosely based on a cache of 4,000 year-old celt and axe blades, discovered during archaeological excavations on City Island in the 1990s. The cache will be on display along with other representative artifacts recovered from earlier investigations.

How many archaeologists does it take to move an 800 lb. dugout canoe? Answer- 8.

Come visit us and learn more about the long cultural history of City Island and experience the music and dance of contemporary Native American cultures at the Pow Wow. Don’t miss your chance to enjoy a beautiful day on the “kipona” or “sparkling water” of the Susquehanna river and be part of a century old Harrisburg city festival that dates back to September 4th, 1916.

The Museum is also open on Saturday, September 2nd (9-5pm) and Sunday (noon-5pm). Stop by our booth and take advantage of the free Planetarium tickets we will have on hand before your visit to the Museum. Shows run Saturdays on the hour from 11am to 2pm and at 1 and 2pm on Sundays. On-the-street parking is free Sundays in Harrisburg.

If you’re not able to venture out, you can also catch repeat showings of The State Museum’s Nature Lab and Learn at Lunch programming on PCN, today through Sunday. Archaeology focused show times are highlighted below.

Friday, September 1
9:30 AM
Leadership of William Penn
10:00 AM
Researching PA Civil War Veterans
10:40 AM
Studying Pre-History Through Artifacts
11:00 AM
Stone Toolmaking
12:00 PM
Dinosaurs of the Eastern U.S.
12:45 PM
When Mammoths Roamed Pennsylvania
1:20 PM
Pennsylvania Snakes
1:45 PM
Evolution of Snakes
2:25 PM
3:20 PM
Turtles and Tortoises
3:45 PM
Pennsylvania Birds
4:35 PM
Leadership of William Penn
5:05 PM
Researching PA Civil War Veterans
11:00 PM
Studying Pre-History Through Artifacts
11:20 PM
Stone Toolmaking
Saturday, September 2
12:20 AM
Dinosaurs of the Eastern U.S.
1:05 AM
When Mammoths Roamed Pennsylvania
1:40 AM
Pennsylvania Snakes
2:05 AM
Evolution of Snakes
2:45 AM
3:40 AM
Turtles and Tortoises
4:05 AM
Pennsylvania Birds
4:50 AM
Leadership of William Penn
5:20 AM
Researching PA Civil War Veterans
2:30 PM
Studying Pre-History Through Artifacts
2:50 PM
Stone Toolmaking
3:50 PM
Dinosaurs of the Eastern U.S.
4:35 PM
When Mammoths Roamed Pennsylvania
5:10 PM
Pennsylvania Birds
6:30 PM
Pennsylvania Snakes
6:55 PM
Evolution of Snakes
7:35 PM
Turtles and Tortoises
Sunday, September 3
12:00 AM
Leadership of William Penn
12:30 AM
Researching PA Civil War Veterans
1:10 AM
Studying Pre-History Through Artifacts
1:30 AM
Stone Toolmaking
2:30 AM
Dinosaurs of the Eastern U.S.
3:15 AM
When Mammoths Roamed Pennsylvania
3:50 AM
Pennsylvania Snakes
4:15 AM
Evolution of Snakes
4:55 AM
5:50 AM
Turtles and Tortoises
6:15 AM
Pennsylvania Birds

Fort Hunter 2017 Field Season
September 11th-October 6th
Mondays-Fridays (9am-4pm)

Backyard visitors interested in seeing archaeologists in action at Fort Hunter Mansion & Park are welcome starting Monday, September 11th through Friday, October 6th. This field season we will continue to excavate the smokehouse builders’ trench and sample it’s interior, as well as follow higher density 18th century soil layers found in previous seasons in the mansion’s backyard.
Around the smokehouse, it is our goal to complete the builders’ trench excavation and further test the chemical composition of the soil inside the structure. It was observed last year that the interior soils were hydrophobic (water expelling or resistant) during and after rain storms. Rain water would drain, almost roll off the floor’s surface, rather than penetrate or absorb and moisten the soil. This was in stark contrast to the soil matrix on the rest of the site that showed the typical absorbent properties of a silt loam and remained wet for a long period when uncovered and exposed to the sun. One hypothesis is that dripping phospholipids released as rendered fats from smoking meats may have seeped into the dirt floor of the smokehouse and altered its chemical composition, making it water resistant. Another hypothesis may be that the sustained dry-heat used in the curing process was a primary factor that altered the soil. We sampled small portions of the hydrophobic floor surface last year and would like to increase our sample size this year to further test these competing or possibly complimentary hypotheses.

 The Smokehouse during 2016 field season. Note the dry soil inside the partially excavated circular stonewall compared to the wet soils surrounding this feature. Photographer Credit: Don Giles

At the same time, we will continue to chase the elusive 18th century component behind the mansion in hopes to discover evidence of the French and Indian Period fort. This has been the primary focus of our initial research goals since Archaeology Month excavations began in 2006 at Fort Hunter. A 20 x 30’ block excavation will be opened behind the Mansion that will encompass a 2.5’ x 35’ trench excavation that was initially investigated in 2008. While this earlier investigative trench documented several modern disturbances of utility, sewer, and water lines running from the existing house through the backyard, there were several lenses of intact 18th century deposits we hope to further explore this year.
Overview of the 2008 trench excavation behind the mansion.

Outlined in red in the map below are areas we will focus on this year.  More intensely colored blue areas represent higher densities of datable 18th century artifacts recovered in previous year excavations.

Map Credit: Callista Holmes

If you are unable to join us during the week, don’t forget the excavation is also open on Sunday, September 17th 10am-5pm as part of the Fort Hunter Day festival. It’s a family friendly event that also includes mansion tours, arts and craft booths, fair food and fun activities for all ages to enjoy.  

2017 Annual Workshops in Archaeology
Ethnicity in the Archaeological Record
October 28, 2017
Announcing Registration is now open!

For more information, download to print the Workshops flier and take advantage of early registration discounts for this year’s program with mail-in submissions on or before October 20th. Pre-registration fliers are also available at our upcoming events and walk-in registrants are welcome on the day.

Please join us and celebrate our rich archaeological heritage this fall. The three day Kipona Festival and Pow Wow, our Archaeology Month investigation at Fort Hunter, and Workshops in Archaeology are fun and informative events where you can meet State Museum archaeologists and learn more about how we can all preserve our past for our future.

For more information, visit or the Hall of Anthropology and Archaeology at The State Museum of Pennsylvania .

Friday, August 18, 2017

The Petroglyphs of Pennsylvania: Rock Art in the Lower Susquehanna River Valley

Did you know that the Lower Susquehanna Valley, approximately 50 miles south of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, is home to one of the largest concentrations of prehistoric petroglyphs in the Northeastern United States?

Petroglyphs are a form of rock art in which images are pecked or carved into the surface of a rock. In the case of Pennsylvania’s petroglyphs, rocky outcrops along rivers were prime locations where these images were created. Petroglyphs can be found across Pennsylvania and styles vary widely depending upon the area in which they were created. Nearly all the petroglyphs recorded in Pennsylvania (42 sites at time of writing) are associated with rivers. Waterways were, and still are, significant features of the natural landscape that have shaped where people lived and how they traveled since long before the first Europeans settled in this area.

The distribution and various styles of petroglyphs in Pennsylvania.

The petroglyphs south of Harrisburg, PA (numbers 8 and 9 on the above map) are particularly special due to their location in the center of the nearly mile-wide Susquehanna River. Some groups of petroglyphs in this area, such as those on Walnut Island and nearby Creswell rock were submerged underwater when the Safe Harbor Dam was constructed in the early 1930s. Other sites farther downstream such as Big and Little Indian Rock are accessible only by boat, a feature that has no doubt helped preserve the numerous rock carvings that were made by the prehistoric people who once inhabited this river valley.

It is difficult for us to imagine the vastly different landscape of the Susquehanna River prior to the construction of railroads and hydro-electric dams. The river was at one time filled with rocky outcrops, small islands, and numerous rapids carved by the ancient waters of the Susquehanna, one of the oldest rivers in the world. The riverscape prior to the construction of the Safe Harbor Dam is reflected in photos taken prior to the dam’s construction, as well as by maps made by various surveyors during the 19th century.

A composite image of the Susquehanna River before and after construction of the Safe Harbor Dam. Walnut Island is in the group of islands on the left side of the upper image.
(top image: Scott’s Map of Lancaster County, Library of Congress; lower image: Google Earth)

In 1930-1931, an expedition led by Donald Cadzow documented four petroglyph sites in the Safe Harbor area where Conestoga Creek flows into the Susquehanna River: Little Indian Rock, Big Indian Rock, Walnut Island (now submerged), and Creswell Rock (now submerged). The team photographed and drew the petroglyphs of Walnut Island and Creswell Rock before ultimately drilling the petroglyphs from the surrounding rock on which they were created and transporting them to the State Museum of Pennsylvania. Four of the petroglyphs from Walnut Island are on permanent display at the State Museum’s Archaeology Gallery in Harrisburg, and another four panels are on display at the Conestoga Area Historical Society Museum in Conestoga, PA. The remainder of the petroglyph panels removed from Walnut Island and Creswell Rock remain in storage at the State Museum of Pennsylvania.

The Petroglyphs on Walnut Island were traced and photographed before being drilled from the surrounding bedrock. The original section of rock with the pecked image is on display at the State Museum of Pennsylvania’s Archaeology Gallery. (Image: PHMC)

Like much of the archaeology performed during the first half of the 20th century, documentation and collection practices fall short of today’s standards. Although Cadzow and his team recognized the importance of the individual images, other information, such as the exact directional orientation of the glyphs and the shape and nature of surrounding rock formations, was largely neglected. Additionally, some fruits of their efforts, such as creating casts of the petroglyphs, have been discarded in the decades since the work was undertaken. The documentation that exists today falls short of depicting the full stunning beauty of a place that no doubt held special significance to the people who created these images.
Donald Cadzow’s map of petroglyphs on Walnut Island. The image panels depicted on this map are the best evidence researchers have of their original locations on the island. (image: Cadzow 1934, PHMC)

Many of the petroglyphs located on Walnut Island bear little resemblance to the petroglyphs of other rock art sites within the Northeastern United States, and researchers have long pondered their origins. Other sites near Safe Harbor, such as Little Indian Rock and Big Indian Rock are similar in style to petroglyph sites attributed to Algonkian groups which inhabited much of the Northeast and Canada during Woodland and Late Prehistoric times.
While the meaning of petroglyphs is still largely unknown, advances have been made in understanding their significance as places of teaching or for communing with spirits who were believed to inhabit sacred locations associated with rocky outcrops and water. Some believe that the petroglyphs are reflections of the sky above.
One of the abstract groups of petroglyphs on Walnut Island. This rock outcrop provided a view of the river looking towards Lancaster County. (image: PHMC)

Donald Cadzow’s report of his expedition is published as a book under the title Petroglyphs in the Susquehanna River near Safe Harbor, Pennsylvania. It is available for purchase from the PA Heritage book store.
If you visit a petroglyph site, there are steps that you can take to help preserve this fragile and non-renewable resource for future generations. Researchers today have no way of knowing what techniques may be developed in the future that could contribute to the understanding of these ancient writings.
The following guidelines for visiting petroglyph sites are adopted from the National Park Service:
-          Do not touch the petroglyphs, even small amounts of oils from your hands can darken and destroy the carved images
-          Photograph and sketch the images, but avoid taking rubbings which can hasten the deterioration of the petroglyphs. The best time of day for viewing petroglyphs is early morning or evening, when the Sun is low on the horizon.
-          Do not introduce any foreign substance to the rock surface such as paint or chalk, these actions can damage the image.
-          Do not repeck, recarve or deface the images in any way, these actions destroy the original image. Many rock art sites have been destroyed by the addition of historic graffiti.

Petroglyphs in Pennsylvania, videos produced by the PHMC:
Petroglyphs of Pennsylvania Part I - 
Petroglyphs of Pennsylvania Part II
Additional information on petroglyphs is available through our web site:

Additional Resources:
Diaz-Granados, Carol, and James R. Duncan, eds. The rock-art of eastern North America: Capturing Images and Insight. Vol. 45879. University of Alabama Press, 2004.
Cadzow, Donald A. Petroglyphs Rock Carvings in the Susquehanna River Near Safe Harbor. Pennsylvania... Vol. 3. No. 1. Pennsylvania Historical Commission, 1934.
Lenik, Edward J. Making pictures in stone: American Indian rock art of the Northeast. University of Alabama Press, 2009.
Vastokas, Joan M., and Romas K. Vastokas. Sacred art of the Algonkians: A study of the Peterborough Petroglyphs. Mansard Press, 1973.

Carr, Kurt W. and Nevin, Paul A., Advanced Technology Rubs Ancient Past. Pennsylvania Heritage, Vol. XXXIV, No. 4, Fall 2008 (

For more information, visit or the Hall of Anthropology and Archaeology at The State Museum of Pennsylvania .

Friday, August 4, 2017

The Oshnock Collection from Western PA

This week in the archaeology lab of the State Museum of Pennsylvania we have completed one major feat and have begun another. After years of work with donated collections from eastern Pennsylvania sites, accessioning over 40,000 artifacts from these sites, we can finally say that they are fully processed, insuring their long-term curation. We have taken a deep breath to enjoy this accomplishment, and are now turning our sights to recently donated collections from western Pennsylvania.

The collections, donated by brothers Robert (Bob) and James (Jim) Oshnock, arrived at the State Museum in June of 2014 and we are happy to say, that as our lab shelves are now cleared of Delaware Valley artifacts, processing has begun! Bob and Jim’s collection and documentation strategies have led to the recordation of several hundred new archaeological sites in western Pennsylvania, as well as the confirmation of site boundaries for numerous previously recorded sites. The assemblages represent over 50 years of collecting by the brothers, who began in 1966. It is estimated that the collection includes around 50,000 artifacts, along with eleven binders of various notes, maps and inventories. This is one of the largest documented collections donated to the State Museum from sites across western PA, making it of considerable importance in understanding the lives of prehistoric peoples in western Pennsylvania and provides a useful comparative collection between sites from other areas. 

Bob and State Museum, Section of Archaeology staff unloading the collections

 State Museum, Section of Archaeology staff unloading the collections

Jim Oshnock, Bob’s nephew, Bob Oshnock and Jim Herbstritt of the State Museum looking over maps in the archaeology lab (listed from left to right)

Bob Oshnock is recognized as a significant contributor to the archaeology of western Pennsylvania due to his considerable efforts at investigating, documenting and identifying sites. In 1984, Bob was appointed a Regional Representative of the Section of Anthropology, Carnegie Museum of Natural History. To this day Bob has continued to contribute to archaeology as a member of Westmoreland Archaeological Society, Chapter 23, Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology (SPA), Inc. through continued investigation, research, recordation, presentation, publication (see list below in references) and preservation of archaeological sites across western Pennsylvania. It was Bob who convinced his brother Jim to also donate his collection to The State Museum of Pennsylvania for long term curation and the opportunity for the information and artifacts they gathered to be shared and used for research for many years to come.  

Bob presenting at the 2009 SPA annual meeting

Though the majority of the sites Bob and Jim investigated were found through surface surveys, they have also conducted a few larger excavations. Assisted by members of the Westmoreland Archaeological Society, Bob directed the excavation of the Consol site (36Wm100) in Westmoreland county between 2000 and 2015. This site is a multi-component prehistoric village site with an Early Drew Phase Monongahela component and Middle Monongahela component. Two overlapping village components with stockades are visibly present on this site, as can be seen in the map below. To Bob’s credit, this excavation was particularly well documented with extensive notes and annual reports. His work has made a significant contribution to Monongahela research. He has continued to publish reports detailing the excavations and findings at Consol (36 Wm100), proof of his continued devotion to preserving, understanding and sharing the prehistory of western Pennsylvania.    

Map of Consol site as of 2013

Bob also played a significant role in the submission of collections from two other collectors. Donated at the same time as the Oshnock collection was the Jacob L. Grimm collection, which Bob prepared, as he did with his collection by organizing documentation and artifacts, for submission from Jacob Grimm’s widow, Beverly Grimm. He also played a role in packaging another large assemblage, the Fred Veigh collection, which was accepted by the State Museum in March of 2016. We are currently in the preliminary organizational stages with this collection.

State Museum, Section of Archaeology staff shelving the Veigh collection

So, with over 450 sites, from Westmoreland, Bedford, Indiana and Fayette counties, making up the collection Bob and Jim have donated, the State Museum of Pennsylvania archaeology lab is grateful for the immense effort they have put forth to organize documentation and label artifacts with their site numbers as we begin to delve into beginning stages of processing this very large collection.  And so, we continue their legacy in preserving what these sites have to offer about western Pennsylvania’s past and we would like to thank Bob and Jim for their commitment to preserving the past for the future.

For additional reading on Bob and his brother Jim and their donation to The State Museum, see the article in the summer 2017 Pennsylvania Heritage magazine (Adkins 2017 -

For more information on the Consol site please visit Bob Oshnock’s guest blog here: or look into some of his publications listed below.

Adkins, Sean
2017       The Oshnock Archaeology Collection. Pennsylvania Heritage Summer 2017:42-43.

Auffart, Albert, and Robert Oshnock
2011      Keyhole Features from the Consol Site (36WM100). Pennsylvania Archaeologist 81(2): 44–53.

Oshnock, Robert

2000       Prehistoric Usage of Loyalhanna Chert. Manuscript on file, Archaeology Section, State Museum of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg, Pa.

2004       Consol Site 36Wm100, Report Number 2, Findings from the 2002-2003 Field Seasons.  Manuscript on file, Archaeology Section, State Museum of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg, Pa.

2005       Consol Site, 36Wm100, Report Number 3, Findings from the 2004 Field Season. Manuscript on file, Archaeology Section, State Museum of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg, Pa.

2007       Consol Site, 36Wm100, Report Number 4, Findings from the 2005 & 2006 Field Season. Manuscript on file, Archaeology Section, State Museum of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg, Pa.

2012      Fluted Points from the Loyalhanna Creek Watershed, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania Archaeologist 82(1): 74–78.

2012      Early Woodland Features at the Consol Site (36WM100), Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania Archaeologist 82(2): 44–53.

For more information, visit or the Hall of Anthropology and Archaeology at The State Museum of Pennsylvania .