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News: October 2011

Chiarulli Awarded Keystone Grant to Investigate Late Prehistoric Archaeological Sites

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Dr. Beverly Chiarulli, Department of Anthropology, was awarded $9,895 by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission to investigate the Squirrel Hill site, a National Register listed Monongahela culture archaeological site in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, and to develop a National Register multiple property context for Late Prehistoric villages associated with the Johnston Phase of the Monongahela culture.

She is assisted by Anthropology Department graduate students Meggie Pace and Lydia DeHaven.

Although the Squirrel Hill site is listed in the National Register, the only reported investigation of the site was undertaken in the early 1950s by amateur archaeologists and members of the Conemaugh Chapter of the Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology. Many questions remain about the date and cultural affiliations of the Squirrel Hill site that can be answered through a systematic survey of the site using advanced geophysical technologies to determine the internal arrangement of villages through the non-destructive mapping of stockades, houses, and storage pits, and by collecting limited excavation samples for analysis and dating. Not only will this investigation allow us to better understand the internal organization of the Squirrel Hill site and relationships with neighboring communities, but it will also provide us with comparable data to that we have from other Johnston Phase sites to provide the basis for the multiple property context.

M.A. in Applied Archaeology Program Accepting Applications for Fall 2012

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The IUP School of Graduate Studies and Research and the Anthropology Department are now accepting applications for M.A. in Applied Archaeology for the Fall 2012 semester.

Because there is no deadline for admission, student applications are reviewed on a rolling basis; the deadline for applications for financial aid, including graduate assistantships, is March 15. To apply, complete the online or printed application available at How to Apply. For more information, contact Dr. Phillip Neusius (phillip.neusius@iup.edu), chair of the IUP Anthropology Department.

Spring 2011 Graduates from M.A. in Applied Archaeology Program

At right: Spring 2011 MA Graduates Angela Jaillet, Jeff Meyer, Jon Libbon and their advisor, Dr. Ben Ford

The program includes 36 hours of graduate coursework. All students will take a required common core of 15 credits, 15 credits of electives, and six credits of thesis and/or internship. Graduates with a master’s degree in Applied Archaeology may be employed by a variety of public and private employers. For example, Pennsylvania and the Mid-Atlantic region will need more trained professionals to assist in the growth of the fields of historic preservation and heritage tourism, the most rapidly expanding segment of the tourism industry, Pennsylvania’s second largest industry. The governor, the state legislature, and, in particular, the General Assembly’s Center for Rural Pennsylvania have long recognized the need to combine research on cultural and historical preservation with tourism. The Pennsylvania House of Representatives and Senate have, in the past, unanimously passed resolutions recognizing the importance of the state’s historic and prehistoric features. A recent House resolution calls for a statewide inventory of historically significant structures.

Tourism has been recognized by the state as an important—in some cases, key—economic force, and many state agencies have stated that Pennsylvania should use historic preservation to its economic advantage, improving the state’s economy while also promoting a sense of regional and state pride. For example, Governor Rendell recently launched a cabinet-level task force on the Pennsylvania Wilds to encourage “heritage tourism,” combining officials from the Department of Natural Resources, the Pennsylvania Tourism Office, and other agencies.

Recent graduates from the program are employed by consulting firms and federal agencies.

Anthropology Graduate Student Espino Studying Marcellus Shale Drilling at Archaeological Sites

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Jason Espino, a graduate student in the M.A. in Applied Archaeology program and president of the Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology’s Allegheny Chapter in Pittsburgh, is developing his master’s thesis on a study of the impacts of shale drilling in Washington County.

Marcellus shale contains natural gas which can be collected from wells drilled into the shale bedrock deep below the surface.

Current legislation in Pennsylvania does not require the drilling industry to determine if archaeological sites can be avoided as wells are drilled. Instead, part of the Pennsylvania History code requires the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission to conduct the archaeological investigations on state-permitted projects like Marcellus Shale projects. However, the agency’s budget has been cut, so no investigations are conducted. According to Espino, more than 3,000 recorded archaeological sites are found in Washington County. It is not known how many have been damaged, but Espino’s research may develop the data to answer this question.

Two well-known sites have been damaged in other parts of the Commonwealth. Friedenshuetten, a site north of Scranton on the Susquehanna River, was founded by a Moravian missionary and Native Americans of the Eastern Delaware Nation in 1763. The site has been disturbed by the construction of a gas well pipeline.

A second site in Southwestern Pennsylvania, a Monongahela village, was damaged by a drill rig. This site was the location of two villages, one dating to the mid-fifteenth century. This late village was attached and burned by unknown attackers who left unburied victims of the attack at the site. As much as half the site has been damaged.

The article, “Does the Natural Gas Boom Endanger Archaeology?” is published in Archaeology Magazine, a bimonthly publication of the Archaeological Institute of America. It appears in From the Trenches, a monthly column by Nikhil Swaminathan.

Department of Anthropology

Upcoming Anthropology Club Events

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Here is the Fall 2011 schedule of events sponsored by the Anthropology Club.

October:

  • 13: Winona LaDuke Speech – Social Change Conference, Pittsburgh. Make a reservation
  • 13: Inter-Club Talk w/Geological Society and Biology clubs, 116 Northern Suites, 6:00–7:00 p.m.
  • 15: Fort Ligonier Days (day trip)
  • 19: Once-A-Month Movie, McElhaney G2, 6:30–9:00 p.m.

November:

  • 2: Internship/Career Night
  • 9: Once-A-Month Movie, McElhaney G-2, 6:30–9:00 p.m.
  • 12: Native American Heritage Day at IUP

December:

  • 3: Old Bedford Village Christmas Village, 5:00–9:00 p.m.
  • 10: Anthropology Club Holiday Party

Department of Anthropology

Anthropology’s Chiarulli and Students Participate in Ellis School Archaeology Day

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Beverly Chiarulli at the Ellis SchoolDr. Beverly Chiarulli of the IUP Anthropology Department and graduate students Marion Smeltzer and Lydia DeHaven assisted the faculty and students from the Ellis School in Pittsburgh in the school’s annual Archaeology Day on Wednesday, September 28, 2011.

The IUP group demonstrated and taught the Ellis ninth graders to flintknap, use stone tools for drilling holes in stone, and make cordage.

Right: Beverly Chiarulli at the Ellis School

This is an annual event, organized by Dr. Ellen Bedell of the Ellis School for her ninth grade World History class. The students also participate in a mock excavation designed to allow them to investigate a site from the American Southwest.

The IUP group provides the students with an opportunity to use “primitive” technologies and to discover that, with a little practice, much can be made with stone tools. Watch a brief video on the activities.

The Ellis School is an independent girls school.

Marion Smeltzer and Lydia DeHaven at the Ellis School

Above: Marion Smeltzer and Lydia DeHaven working with Ellis School Students

  • Anthropology Department
  • McElhaney Hall, Room G-1
    441 North Walk
    Indiana, PA 15705
  • Phone: 724-357-2841
  • Fax: 724-357-7637
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  • Monday through Friday
  • 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
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