Ben Ford presented the results of recent archaeological
investigations at the Historic Hanna’s Town Site to the Ohio Valley Chapter of
the Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology on September 17, 2014.
Ford’s talk, “Preliminary Analysis of the Hanna’s Town
Collection and How it Can Help Us Present the Site to the Public,” summarized
IUP’s ongoing work at the site.
Hanna’s Town was the first English county seat
west of the Allegheny Mountains and the home of the Hanna’s Town Resolves—the
first proclamation of a willingness to resist tyranny with violence in the
IUP has been working at the site since 2011. The Anthropology
Department has held two archaeological field schools at the site, and there are
currently five MA theses being conducted using artifacts from the site. Four
decades of previous excavations have generated nearly one million artifacts and
several feet of records. Ford is working with students to digitize these
records so that they can be studied and made accessible to other researchers.
The collection has the potential to shed light on the lives of frontier
inhabitants of various classes, ethnicities, ages, and genders. Hanna’s Town is
an important historical and archaeological site that is poorly understood. The
goal of the Hanna’s Town project is to synthesis the enormous data set to
better understand life in colonial Pennsylvania, and to use this information to
better interpret the site to the public.
Artist's reconstruction of Hanna’s Town circa 1775.