Kirk Smith, Matt Howryla, Chloe Stevens, and Kimberly Bray are spending the rest of the summer 2013 looking for archaeological sites in the Allegheny National Forest (ANF). The project results from a partnership between the U.S. Forest Service, IUP, Clarion University, University of Pittsburgh at Bradford (UPB), Pennsylvania Kinzua Pathways, Warren County Chamber of Business and Industry, Council on Tourism, Pennsylvania Wilds, and others.
The project developed from a proposed 46-mile series of mountain bicycling trails in the Jakes Rocks Area of the forest by Pennsylvania Kinzua Pathways (PKP). As a federal agency, the ANF was required to evaluate the effect of this project on historic, cultural, and natural resources under the National Environmental Policy Act. Because of federal budget cuts, the ANF and PKP created a cooperative agreement to partner with the three universities to conduct the surveys. IUP faculty members Beverly Chiarulli and Ben Ford and Clarion professor Sue Prezzanno met with the ANF and other partners in January 2013 to begin to develop a partnership to conduct the archaeological part of the survey. At the same time, Stephen Robar of the UPB faculty developed an additional partnership for the botanical survey.
Starting on July 8, the four IUP students and two students from Clarion began their systematic survey of the 46-mile-long transect through generally rugged terrain. ANF Planning Team Leader Steve Dowlan and ANF Natural Resource Specialist Ava Turnquist said the students will be prepared to hit the ground running. Dowlan and Turnquist will be working with them and preparing them for the work by reviewing safety, conduct, study requirements, ANF protocols, and a detailed list of what to look for while out there.
According to Chiarulli, “This is a great opportunity for students from our M.A. in Applied Archaeology and undergraduates in the Anthropology major Archaeology Track. It provides two students (Kirk and Matt) with an opportunity to work with the ANF archaeologists, gain experience as crew chiefs on a complex field project, and be part of a partnership with the local community. This is exactly the kind of training and experience our students need to become professional archaeologists.” It also provides the other students with professional-level experience to build on their previous field school training.
The project was featured in an article in the Warren, Pa., Times Observer on July 12, 2013. More information on the archaeological project.