|Southern Portion of the Tuscarora Path|
Located within the Valley and Ridge Province, and more specifically the Great Valley Province it is part of a 900- mile corridor extending north to south (New York to Alabama). Several foot paths pass through the county, including the Tuscarora Path. The Tuscarora Path is believed to have been utilized by the Tuscarora Indians when they relocated from North Carolina to Pennsylvania and into their present homelands in western New York. The Conococheague Creek flows into the Potomac River just over the state line in Williamsport, Maryland. Known for its trout and bass fishing today, this stream and others provided a food source for prehistoric peoples as well. Forests comprised of oak, chestnut, hickory, pine, elm and beech provided shelter for bear, deer, turkey and other food sources such as nuts and berries. Finally, raw material for the production of stone tools is an important factor in determining prehistoric settlement. In Franklin County, at least one chert quarry has been identified but the largest source of raw material is the Catoctin metarhyolite quarries located along the border with Adams County. These quarries were used heavily beginning over 9500 years ago during the early Archaic period and metarhyolite from these quarries is found in almost every county in the Commonwealth. All of these attributes were important elements in Native American lifeways and contributed to the early settlement of this area.
|Profiles of Feature 5|
Members from Chapter 27 of the Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology (SPA) have been conducting an investigation at Ebbert Spring (36Fr367) since 2003 and have also recovered evidence of activities from the Paleoindian period through the Late Woodland period. A detailed analysis of the pottery recovered was prepared for publication in the SPA journal (SPA Vol. 80, No. 1) by Ron Powell, a member of this chapter. Powell identified pottery from multiple cultural time periods indicating repeated episodes of camp use at Ebbert Spring. The earliest vessel forms identified were steatite or soapstone fragments dating from the Late Archaic/Transitional period. Additional pottery fragments dating from the Early Woodland (2,100 to 2,700 years ago) through the Late Woodland were examined. Powell recorded attributes from 14,796 sherds examining traits such as temper, cordage twist, and surface treatment in identifying the culture groups represented. This is an excellent example of a professional level excavation being conducted by avocational archaeologists. This chapter is to be applauded for their excavation methods, analysis and timely reporting of their findings.
This environment that had supported prehistoric peoples for thousands of years also appealed to Europeans who began settling in Franklin County by the 1730’s. Early roads were established and activities such as farming began to emerge. Farming created the need for mills to process grains and roads to transport these goods. By 1755 when Colonel James Burd was commissioned to open a military supply route from Carlisle westward to Fort Duquesne (present-day Pittsburgh), a portion of road was already in place from Shippensburg (Cumberland County) to the area of St. Thomas, Franklin County . The British plan to control a fort at Pittsburgh was squelched by the French defeat of General Braddock at Fort Duquesne, but this event only prompted further action by the British to establish additional forts along the western frontier.
|Foundation of Patton's House after excavation|
|Bucket and axe recovered from well at Fort Loudoun|
|Entrance to Fort Hunter Exhibit at The State Museum of Pennsylvania|
Speaking of Fort Hunter, next week we will begin transporting equipment and preparing the site for our annual excavation at this French & Indian War period site. This year we will continue excavating the well and are hopeful that we will recover artifacts dating to the fort’s occupation. The public is invited to stop by and check out our progress, we excavate from 9 to 4, Monday through Friday- weather permitting. There are two public event days on the weekend where we are also on site these dates are September 16th and October 7th. We hope you can come out for these events and support the archaeology of our community.
|Our booth at Kipona- Vist us this year from September 1st throught 3rd|
If you can’t stop out to Fort Hunter to see us, maybe you can come to City Island this weekend and sit in the dugout canoe. Archaeologists and volunteers from the Archaeology Section of The State Museum, the folks who write this blog, will be on hand with our dugout, stone tools used in creating this marvel, and an exhibit of the artifacts excavated in the 1990’s on City Island. This is your chance to sit in an authentic replica of a Native American dugout canoe and view the spectacular projectile points recovered in these excavations. We can be found on the back side of the baseball stadium near the Native American Pow-Wow festival.
We hope you have enjoyed this trip through time into the archaeology of Franklin County and that you will continue to support our activities as we work to preserve our past for the future.
Bulgrin, Lon E., M.A. and JoEllen Burkholder, M.A.
Phase III Mitigation of the Washington Township Proposed Municipal Authority Waterline and Treatment Plant Site. The Antietam Terrace Site, 36Fr357, Franklin County, Pennsylvania, July, 1997. Prepared for Washington Township Municipal Authority, Waynesboro, PA. Report submitted by Ecoscience, Inc.
Powell, Ronald D.
An Analysis and Study of Prehistoric Pottery Found at The Ebbert Spring Site- 36Fr367. Unpublished manuscript on file at The State Museum of Pennsylvania. 2010.
Warfel, Stephen G.
Historical Archaeology at Fort Loudoun, video script on file at The State Museum of Pennsylvania, 1991.
For more information, visit PAarchaeology.state.pa.us or the Hall of Anthropology and Archaeology at The State Museum of Pennsylvania .