Friday, December 25, 2009

Lopresti Collection Donation

This week’s entry, our fourth in a series of donations to the State Museum of PA, showcases a collection of artifacts from Virginia Lopresti. A long time member of the Forks of the Delaware Chapter of the Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology, Virginia chose to donate some of her artifacts to the State Museum’s Section of Archaeology in 2005, and the Museum graciously accepted. One of the earliest recorded archaeological sites in Northampton County, 36Nm11 was first registered in 1967. Over the years Ms. Lopresti has been an avid surface collector on this site, a portion of which lies in her back yard. Virginia has amassed a sizable assemblage of not only whole, diagnostic projectile points, but also expedient flake tools, scrapers, chipping debris of a variety of lithic materials, hammerstones, pitted stones and pestle fragments. From bifurcates to broadspears, the bulk of the diagnostic points imply an Archaic occupation (9000 to 3000 years ago). With 15 grandchildren, Virginia has understandably decided to hold on to her framed projectile points to pass along for them to enjoy. However, the value of the rest of the collection cannot be overlooked, and in some ways they can be viewed as a “more complete sample” of the site. Because there was no bias towards only whole projectile points, this type of collecting provides the archaeologist with a more representative sample of artifacts and can aid in interpreting site types and their function.

The State Museum has no other collection from this site, and Ms. Lopresti’s generous artifact donation contributes important information about regional settlement patterns and culture change during the prehistory of the Middle Delaware Valley.

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

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