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Watershed Synthesis

The watershed is an excellent resource planning and management framework that can provide meaning to archaeological data collected both within and between watershed boundaries.  Drainage basins divide Pennsylvania by major river systems, then by 20 smaller tributary drainages (subbasins), and finally by minor tributaries of which there are 104 (watersheds).  One of the things that is helpful about using this system for the organization of archaeological information is that watersheds often cross different geographical and geological formations so that, for example, a single watershed can show human behavior and settlement patterns across a wide landscape.

For many years the Bureau for Historic Preservation has advocated using watersheds for organizing prehistoric archaeological information.  Since the mid 1980s, we have organized the PASS data by watersheds. With the launch of the cultural resources GIS program, this information, the raw data of Pennsylvania archaeology, is always current.  What is needed at this point, however, is to synthesize this data in a manner that is accessible, understandable, and useful to the general and interested public and professionals alike.

Archaeological syntheses of watersheds are being prepared as part of various cultural resource management projects.  As more syntheses become available they will be added to the Web site. 

Susquehanna River Basin
Upper Juniata (Subbasin 11, Watersheds A-D)
JuniataFinal.pdf (PDF, 6747 KB)

Ohio River Basin
Raccoon Creek (Subbasin 20, Watershed D)
raccoon_creek.pdf (PDF, 2414 KB)

Delaware River Basin
Lower Lehigh River (Subbasin 2, Watershed C)
Oberly Island Report, see Chapter 5
oberly_island.pdf (PDF, 597 KB)