History is cool and all, but it’s even cooler when it’s the history of the very place you call home. Archaeology is one of the most informative ways to learn about the people who inhabited the land before we came along, and with a little bit of digging, you’ll never know what could be found. Here are some of the coolest archaeological sites in Pennsylvania.
1. Indian God Rock
The large boulder known as Indian God Rock is located in northwestern Pennsylvania. It has an extensive petroglyph (which is a carved pictogram) on one side that has been an archaeological treasure since the 19th century. The Native American artifact is of unknown age.
2. Francis Farm Petroglyphs
Archaeologists think that the creators of the petroglyphs on Francis Farm, in Jefferson Township, may have been created by the Monongahela peoples or the ancestors of the Shawnee. There are at least sixteen distinct carvings present among the group of petroglyphs.
3. Spanish Hill
Spanish Hill is a 10-acre area in South Waverly borough where many artifacts have been found; however, archaeologists debate as to their origin. Some say the area's structures and relics are from Susquehannock Native Americans, while others say that they were left by early European farmers.
4. Oley Hills Site
This mysterious archaeological site is located in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. The giant 46-acre area has complex patterns of stacked stones and boulders with no known origin.
5. Site of Old Hannastown
Located in Hempfield Township, Old Hannastown is a village that was originally settled by Europeans in 1768. It consists of 30 log cabins, two taverns, and a fort; also, one of the last hostile acts of the American Revolutionary War occurred here in 1785, when it was destroyed by fire.
6. John Brown Tannery Site
John Brown was an abolitionist who built this tannery in 1825. It was destroyed by a fire in 1907 and today is open as a museum.
7. Richard T. Foley Site
In the 1960s, archaeologists began finding artifacts along Job Creek in Jackson Township. Later, in the 1980s, it was discovered that a village once stood on the site.
8. Minisink Archaeological Site
This is a giant site comprising of over 1,000 acres. Once occupied by Munsee-speaking Lenape, Archaeologists have discovered Native American burials and an incredible variety of artifacts here.
9. Greenwood Furnace State Park
This area was once settled by the Juniata tribe, or Ona Jutta Hage. The iron furnace for which the park takes its name comes from the 1834 structure that was built as a center of industry in Huntingdon County.
10. Meadowcroft Rockshelter
This site, found in Jefferson Township, has the oldest evidence of human civilization in the Americas. It's a rock shelter built into a bluff overlooking the Ohio River. The artifacts represent an incredible array of time periods, indicating that it may have been continuously habituated for over 19,000 years.