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Summaries

Archaeologists work at Shade Furnace is Somerset County

Each year hundreds of archaeological investigations are conducted in Pennsylvania. Included are university field schools, projects conducted by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, and projects conducted to comply with state and Federal laws. In this section of the Web site, we provide you with some of the information on our heritage that these projects have provided.

The Overview of Pennsylvania Archaeology takes you from the earliest known occupation of the region, beginning over 16,000 years ago, to the recent history of Pennsylvania. The overview shows how we use the information from archaeological excavations to illuminate our understanding of past lifeways.

Summaries of Archaeological Projects by River Subbasin provide an opportunity to learn about the archaeology that has been completed near your home.

The Commonwealth's Archaeology Program (CAP) conducts archaeological investigations at sites that are in danger of destruction because of modern development. Summaries of some of these CAP projects are provided in this section.

Federal laws require that agencies consider the effects of their actions on archaeological sites. As a result, archaeological excavations precede the construction of many highways, bridges, power lines, and the like.  Summaries of some of the interesting projects conducted in compliance with state and federal laws are presented in this section of the Web site.

Many of the artifacts collected from these projects are housed at the State Museum of Pennsylvania, where they can be studied by scholars. Read a summary of the extensive artifact collections housed at the Museum, including information on how to donate artifact collections.

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