Friday, April 26, 2013

Kinsey Scholarship, J. Alden Mason Award and Volunteer Recognition Program

This week in our travels through Pennsylvania, we are going to take time out to congratulate some special people who have made a difference in Pennsylvania archaeology.

First, the W. Fred Kinsey Scholarship was awarded this year to senior Morgan Rouscher of Gettysburg College.  Morgan presented her paper “Working Together: Exploring the Use of Public Archaeology in Waynesboro, PA” at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology in Uniontown.  Award of this scholarship provides students with recognition of their research endeavors and encourages participation in a forum that focuses on Pennsylvania archaeology. Papers selected for this award are subsequently edited and reviewed for publication in the journal Pennsylvania Archaeologist. The first scholarship recipient, Jonathan R. Libbon, was published in the Fall 2012 issue of the journal and last year’s recipient, Jennifer Rankin is scheduled for publication later this year.

Ms. Roucher accepting the W. Fred Kinsey Scholarship Award at the 84th Annual Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology meeting

The W. Fred Kinsey Scholarship program began in 2011 in an effort to promote student participation at the annual meetings of the Society. Dr. Kinsey was a curator with the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) in the late 1950 and early 1960s. This was followed by twenty five years at Franklin and Marshall College and The North Museum in Lancaster County. His work on the prehistory of the Upper Delaware river valley laid the foundation for much of the interpretation of this region of Pennsylvania. In addition to his contributions to archaeological investigations, he mentored many students who went on to become significant archaeologists on their own merits.

Morgan’s paper focused on an eighteenth century rural farmstead site which was occupied by one German Baptists family, the Stoner’s, from 1740 to 1850.  Assistance with this excavation was provided by members of Cumberland Valley Chapter #27 of the Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology.  This site provides an opportunity to document the daily activities of a working farm through the archaeological evidence recovered during excavations. Farmstead sites typically provide an opportunity to examine agricultural practices- where areas were fenced, barn construction methods and size, number and location of outbuildings, and general land use patterns.  Artifacts recovered during this investigation will be analyzed for indicators of consumerism- local or imported, duration for which the product was used and conditions under which it was discarded. These questions provide archaeologists a chance to compare a working farm, occupied by German Baptists in this case, with farms operated by other ethnic groups who settled in Pennsylvania.  This site type is also a perfect connection for the local community to connect to their past in ways that more renowned sites might not. Morgan selected this site’s public involvement as a chance to educate the local community as to the value of archaeology to them and everyone’s understanding of the past.
We wish to congratulate Morgan on her accomplishment and hope to assist her with development of her paper for publication.
Our second award winner is Janet Johnson, Curator, The State Museum of Pennsylvania. Janet received the highest honor conferred on a professional archaeologist by the Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology, the J. Alden Mason Award. The following was read for her award.

Janet Johnson accepting the J. Alden Mason award at the 84th Annual Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology meeting

This award is in honor of John Alden Mason.  He was a noted North and South American Archaeologist, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, and a founding member of Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology, Inc. (SPA). This award is presented to a professional archaeologist or a professional in a related science and is based upon his/her contribution to education and encouragement of SPA members in the proper pursuit of archaeology.

The Archaeology Section of the State Museum of Pennsylvania houses over 4.5 million artifacts.  When need to do some research, or to examine artifacts, or to ask questions; we turn to the person who is always there when we need her. She works long hours facilitating the care of material remains of historic and prehistoric peoples who called Pennsylvania their home.  In her trust is our precious Pennsylvania history.  She is a tireless supporter of archaeology and goes the extra mile to make archaeology accessible to SPA members, students, researchers and the general public.
Janet Johnson began as an intern at the State Museum of Pennsylvania in 1979 and joined the staff in 1993. In 2004 she was promoted to curator.  Curator, Janet Johnson encourages the use of the museum’s collections for education and research, and in spite of her busy work schedule she makes herself available to aide persons doing research. She is especially good with young researchers and mentors high school and college students.  Janet understands that Pennsylvania archaeology cannot grow without encouraging students.

Janet is in charge of volunteers at the museum, is on the SPA C14 committee and helped establish the Kinsey scholarship.  She has participated at various excavations in Pennsylvania, including Fort Hunter.  Janet works closely each year with the archaeology exhibits at the Pennsylvania Farm Show, which is a major event that encourages interest in Pennsylvania archaeology. Janet published with McConaughy in 2003 - Sugar Run Mound and Village and with Kent, Rice, and Ota in  1981 -  A map of 18th Century Indian towns in Pennsylvania.

Her most recent research has focused on New Deal historical archaeology in Pennsylvania.  Janet, is also working with the Virtual Curation Laboratory at Virginia Commonwealth University, regarding Susquehannock animal and human effigies on vessels and smoking pipes.
For her many contributions to archaeology and dedication to the principles of the Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology, Janet Johnson is presented with the J. Alden Mason  Award.

Finally, this Saturday April 27th, the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission will hold its annual volunteer recognition program at The State Museum of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg. Each spring the Commission celebrates the many volunteers who contribute their time, expertise and hard work to making the historic sites and museums of the PHMC premier attractions around the Commonwealth. TWIPA would like to take this opportunity to thank the individuals who make up a small army of volunteers that regularly dedicate a portion of their time with the Section of Archaeology at the State Museum of PA. Much of what we do wouldn’t happen without their help. We tip out hats to Andi, Laina, Toni, Sheila, Sid, Amber, Andy, Clydene, Merikay, Elijah, Tessa, Krissy, Cassie, and everyone else we may have overlooked, you guys are the best.  THANK YOU!

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

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