Digging Deep : Buried Landscapes of Pennsylvania

-By Michael S Sheaffer
I can’t imagine personally any genealogist not having a strong interest in all aspects of history. Being a family researcher I always have had a keen interest in the areas where my ancestors had lived. The history of the towns, and cities are vital to my overall picture of the times and areas they lived. My ancestors have been in Pennsylvania perhaps as far back as William Penn founding and opening up Pennsylvania to the masses, and at least since the French and Indian Wars. With such a strong Pennsylvania history I have researched many areas of Pennsylvania in a Historical and Genealogical way. The one area I never really considered was in Archaeology! Archaelogy is after all the Genealogy of Pennsylvania in itself and tells the history by what we find buried beneath it.
Recently I have become interested in archaeology mostly through the area that I live along the Susquehanna River basin (South Central Pennsylvania) where several known British Forts (Hunter & Halifax)  Native Indian tribes once were and where some Image result for archaeology  Map image of Pennsylvaniaarchaeological digs have occurred in the last few years recovering many items of Colonial America and beyond. During some online research recently I came upon a video produced by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) that really told an archaeological story of Pennsylvania that I never realized. I perhaps learned more about Pennsylvania in this video that I may never have found in a book somewhere. The video is only 20 minutes and really gets to the points they are discussing in a straight forward way that makes understanding the technical side of archaeology much more understandable. images They discuss archaeology in terms of modern day Pittsburgh and Philadelphia and create a whole different look at these cities now compared to just 200-250 years ago and beyond. One interesting thing I learned in this video is that what our rivers look like now weren’t necessarily what they looked liked then! With our modern flood control programs many rivers have taken on a totally different form in depths and size.
I urge you to watch this and I am sure you will enjoy as I did. I have added some links below for further research on this topic:
Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission (PHMC) Video

Digging Deep : Buried Landscapes of Pennsylvania

Published on Feb 4, 2016

Watch some of Pennsylvania’s leading archaeologists offer their views on the great depths explored by archaeology in the Keystone State.

As the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) turns 50 years old this year, it is important to recognize and celebrate the role this act, specifically Section 106, has played in American archaeology. Section 106 directs all federally-funded projects to consider the effects they may have on historic properties, including archaeological sites. Half a century of compliance with the NHPA has produced the greatest advances in our understanding of the buried past since the infancy of American archaeology in the early 19th century. This video was produced as part of the Making Archaeology Public initiative, or MAP, initiated by Dr. Lynne Sebastian, with the goal of introducing Americans to these groundbreaking archaeological discoveries. The MAP theme for Pennsylvania is “Digging Deep: Buried Landscapes of Prehistoric and Historic Pennsylvania”. This video tells the story of the great depths explored by compliance archaeologists in the Keystone State, and the amazingly well preserved record of human land use they have found here. This story is a story that could never have been told without the last 50 years of compliance with the NHPA – it’s a legacy all Pennsylvanians can be proud of.


This entry was posted in document, Family history, Genealogy Research, Historical, Pennsylvania, Photographs, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s