Friday, April 17, 2009

McFate stone pipe

The McFate site (36Cw1) located in Cochranton, PA was excavated in 1938 by Harry L. Schoff under the Works Progress Administration (WPA) from funding received under the New Deal Program. Thousands of artifacts were uncovered and evidence of the palisades of three over-lapping villages were discovered. The site was identified as belonging to the Late Woodland time period, or 1,200 to 450 years ago. Schoff recorded 448 refuse/storage pits during his investigations and one half of this smoking pipe was recorded from the excavation in 1938.

In 1968, a group of amateur archaeologists from the local chapter of the Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology began reinvestigating the grounds of the McFate site prior to construction of a new housing development. Mr. Ray Stewart discovered the second half of the pipe more than thirty years after Schoff’s original discovery. After receiving Mr. Stewarts’ generous donation, the pipe fragments were compared and the refit confirmed that these indeed were two pieces of the same pipe.

The pipe measures 8.9 cm overall with one leg slightly longer than the other. It is made of a fine grained siltstone and contains no residue indicating it was probably never used.

For more information on additional sites excavated as part of the WPA see our New Deal website.

For more information about the Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology visit their web site at

For more information, visit or the Hall of Anthropology and Archaeology at The State Museum of Pennsylvania .

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