In this section we present summaries of Native American and historic archaeology organized by river subbasins. These summaries offer a somewhat more detailed picture than the overviews of archaeology for the state.
There are three main river valleys in the state, the Ohio, Susquehanna, and Delaware valleys, and each of these is divided into subbasins that are further divided into water sheds. For obvious reasons, archaeologists who study Native American cultures do not use modern political boundaries such as state or county borders when describing Native American territories. In contrast to current political boundaries that sometimes use rivers as borders, Native Americans used rivers as travel corridors that formed the centers of their foraging territories. This makes the subbasin and watersheds excellent for studying how prehistoric groups used and adapted to their environments.
One of our goals is to summarize the archaeology of each of the major subbasins in Pennsylvania. We begin with the Lower Susquehanna River Basin, the Upper Delaware River Basin, and the Monongahela River Basin, which are among the most studied regions in the state.