Learn more about PAF here…
Learn here about the archaeology conducted at North 7th and Arch Streets. This mid-late 1990’s-era project was required by preservation laws in advance of building the Metropolitan Detention Center. The archaeology was conducted by archaeologists from Louis Berger Group, Inc. A booklet reporting the results was funded by the U.S. Department of Justice Federal Bureau of Prisons.
The recently released Philadelphia Certified Local Government Evaluation Report will be discussed at the next PAF meeting on Thursday, May 26th. The report details the findings and recommendations of the City’s historic preservation programs by the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office. This report was prepared as a routine aspect of the City’s participation in the Certified Local Government Program (CLG), which is administered by the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission in partnership with the National Park Service. The CLG program is a Federal program authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act, and is intended to engage local governments across the country in the administration of Federal and State historic preservation programs and projects. The CLG status means that the city holds responsibility for stewarding archaeological resources in certain circumstances: “Being a CLG demonstrates your community’s commitment to saving what is important from the past for future generations” (as stated on the CLG page at the National Park Service, https://www.nps.gov/clg/).
The evaluation of Philadelphia CLG program participation was prepared with input from several non-profit organizations with a specific interest in historic preservation, design, planning, and development issues — including the Philadelphia Archaeological Forum. The public comments reported in the evaluation include the following PAF input: 1) the Philadelphia Historical Commission lacks adequate budgetary and staff resources, including one critical deficiency identified is the lack of a professional archaeologist on PHC staff; and 8) The permit review process does not adequately protect archaeological resources
Of the Conclusions and Recommendations in this final evaluation report, one is specific to archaeology and all are relevant to the City’s adequate participation as a CLG:
5. Archaeological resources should be afforded more attention in planning, policies,procedures, and decisions. While much of Philadelphia’s land area has undergone multiple phases of transformation over the past 350 years, recent archaeological investigations along the I-95 corridor havedemonstrated that significant archaeological resources do exist. Excavations conducted as part of the highway’s reconstruction and private development have yielded sites and artifacts from Native American settlements, industrial sites, and colonial-era military fortifications. In addition, the discovery of several early and significant burial places, including Bethel Burial Ground, Potter’s Field in Germantown, and Byberry Friends Burial Ground illustrate that there places that hold tremendous historical value whose preservation enjoys significant public support buried throughout the City.
Recommendation: A qualified archaeologist should be appointed to the Historical Commission. The staff should include a qualified archaeologist or the Commission should employ an archaeologist as on call consultant for professional guidance on projects involving archaeological resources. The Commission’s Rules and Regulations should be amended to encourage/require archaeological investigation during project planning/preliminary review rather than as a condition of permit approval.
Read the Phila. Certified Local Government Evaluation Report, 2015
Read about The Certified Local Government Program (CLG) here…
ARTIFACT OF THE MONTH
Plant Remains in Archaeological Site Soils
Learn more about this ‘Artifact of the Month’ here…
The Museum of American Glass at Wheaton Arts is hosting the first major exhibition of artifacts recovered from excavations along I-95 in Philadelphia. Numbering nearly a million thus far, the artifacts reveal over five thousand years of history. Experience the archaeologists’ excitement as you explore the exhibition and discover evidence of early Native Americans, Dyottville Glass Works, nineteenth-century glassworkers and potters, and everyday life in their communities.
For Directions Go to http://www.wheatonarts.org/
Information about the I-95 Improvement Project:
437 High Street, Burlington, NJ 08016
AECOM is conducting excavations on behalf of Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration.
UPCOMING TEACHER WORKSHOP
More information/To apply download the Pottery and Pixels Flier
Digging Deep : Buried Landscapes of Pennsylvania (20:24 minutes long, the section on Philadelphia archaeology begins in minute 13 of the production)
As the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) turns 50 years old this year, it is important to recognize and celebrate the role this act, specifically Section 106, has played in Pennsylvania Archaeology.
Section 106 directs all federally-funded projects to consider the effects they may have on historic properties, including archaeological sites. Half a century of compliance with the NHPA has produced the greatest advances in our understanding of the buried past since the infancy of American archaeology in the early 19th century. This video was produced as part of the Making Archaeology Public initiative, or MAP, initiated by Dr. Lynne Sebastian, with the goal of introducing Americans to groundbreaking archaeological discoveries in Pennsylvania and in other states.
The MAP theme for Pennsylvania is “Digging Deep: Buried Landscapes of Prehistoric and Historic Pennsylvania”. This video tells the story of the great depths explored by compliance archaeologists in the Keystone State, and the amazingly well preserved record of human land use they have found here. This story is a story that could never have been told without the last 50 years of compliance with the NHPA – it’s a legacy all Pennsylvanians can be proud of!
Go here to view the video (Philadelphia Archaeology begins in minute 13 of the production).
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly:
Bioarchaeology and the Modern Gun Culture Debate
[*PAGES 118-119 of which report and analyze gunshot victims in the Philadelphia archaeological record, namely ca. 1750–1799 burials at the Second Presbyterian Church Burial Ground excavated during construction of the National Constitution Center and from the First African Baptist Church Burial Ground, dating between ca. 1810 and 1822, discovered in the 1990’s during construction of the Vine Street Expressway.
By Thomas A. Crist
Historical Archaeology, 2006, 40(3):109–130.
In this article, Crist considers “personal gun ownership during the early history of what is now the United States that lies at the root of the modern argument between supporters of gun control and those whose interpretation of the Second Amendment endows private citizens with the right to keep and bear arms”. Using historical evidence, including from early burials in Philadelphia, he shows that with growing gun ownership, during and after the 1830s, “an ever-increasing number of homicides (have) resulted from gunfire, particularly in the large cities” (Crist, HISTORICAL ARCHAEOLOGY 40(3):126.
ARCHAEOLOGY AND ARCHAEOLOGISTS IN THE PHILADELPHIA REGION
What do Philadelphia-area archaeologists actually do?
What do Philadelphia residents and business concerns do with archaeology?
What does archaeology do for Philadelphia?
Hear what 63 individuals say in answer to these important questions!
The Philadelphia Day of Archaeology is the local version of the International Day of Archaeology blogging project which is designed to provide a window into the lives of archaeologists and to those whose work engages with archaeology. Hear from the Philadelphia-area participants, 2012-2015, here…
Whispering Woods – the blog (Spring-Summer 2015) for a Phase II archaeological excavation located in Salem Co, NJ, being conducted by Rutgers–Camden undergraduate students in collaboration with archaeologists from the Fredric Rieders Family Renaissance Foundation.
FEATURED NEW BOOK
First Pennsylvanians: The Archaeology of Native Americans in Pennsylvania
By Kurt W. Carr, PhD, Senior Curator of Archaeology at The State Museum of Pennsylvania, and Roger W. Moeller, PhD
In First Pennsylvanians, Kurt Carr and Roger Moeller provide a broad, accessible, and wide-ranging overview of the archaeological record of Native Americans in Pennsylvania from early prehistory through the Paleoindian, Archaic, Transitional, Woodland, and Contact periods, stretching from 16,500 years ago to 1750 c.e. The authors present and analyze specific traits of each archaeological time period covered and use the archaeological record to provide a glimpse of Native Americans’ daily life in Pennsylvania. First Pennsylvanians also includes personal stories and anecdotes from archaeologists about their experiences in the field as well as a wealth of illustrations and diagrams. The chapters examine the environment, social groups, tools, subsistence, and settlements of patterns of Native Americans in Pennsylvania and describe how these factors profoundly affected the populations and cultures of these early inhabitants of the region.
256 pages, paperback; 124 color photos and illustrations. This Commonwealth of Pennsylvania publication can be purchased here…
Archaeology Month is sponsored by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, the Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology, Inc., and the Pennsylvania Archaeological Council. Its purpose is to increase awareness of the important historic and prehistoric archaeological sites in the Commonwealth. These sites are part of the heritage of all Pennsylvanians. Everyday, archaeological sites are destroyed. We hope that through the Archaeology Month events, more Pennsylvanians become aware of this part of our history and work to protect our endangered resources.
“OCTOBER IS PENNSYLVANIA ARCHAEOLOGY MONTH”
Public Service Announcement (PSA) video
Click on the car or artifacts in the picture or click here to activate the video!
Learn more about this Archaeology Month Public Service Announcement here…