Blog of the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office

Author: Multiple Authors (Page 2 of 2)

This post has been co-authored by several members of the PA SHPO Staff.

Remembering Indian Hannah

by Karen Galle and Cory Kegerise

Hannah Freeman is not a name that you’ll find in most history books, though her story and her legend live on in southern Chester County. Known more popularly as “Indian Hannah”, Freeman is remembered in local lore as the last Lenni Lenape living in Chester County at the time of her death in 1802. She was born c.1730 on the Webb farm in Kennett Township not far from the Delaware border. Today the Webb farm is part of Longwood Gardens and her life and story are commemorated by a large stone monument erected in 1925 and rededicated in May 2014.

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Improving Archaeological Reports and Review: Part 2

Archaeology is a destructive science. Generally there are no exciting explosions, or catastrophic collapses when undertaking an excavation, but all the same, once a site or portion of a site is excavated it is gone for good. Every good archaeologist is trained to take this fact into account when doing archaeological work. We sketch, note, measure, photograph, and generally record every minute detail of an excavation knowing that we are destroying the very thing we are interested in understanding. This is why there is more than a little truth in the old adage that for every day spent in the field, the archaeologist spends at least as much time, and often more, analyzing, interpreting, and reporting on the information that has been collected. Continue reading

P.H.A.S.T. and Dirty.

The crisis in transportation funding in Pennsylvania has had some consequences for the management of heritage resources.  Since the Federal Highway Administration and PennDOT are legally required to consider the effects transportation projects have on archaeological sites and historic structures and districts, the historically low levels of funding have made that mandate more difficult. The crisis has also limited the opportunities young archaeologists and historians have to gain practical experience in their profession, and to advance their careers as the numbers and size of transportation projects shrink. In 2010, archaeologists at PennDOT and at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) launched a new program intended to help address both problems. Continue reading

Improving Archaeological Reports and Review: Part 1

We archaeological reviewers here at the PA SHPO have many jobs other than just reviewing Section 106 and State History Code submissions.  Among our ‘other duties as assigned’, we are also responsible for helping the GIS Section ensure that the information from archaeological reports gets into the CRGIS (Cultural Resources Geographic Information System) for use by consultants, planners, and the public.  Making sure all the data we receive at our office is curated correctly and that it is available online is a big job – one that you, as report writers and submitters, can help us do more efficiently. Continue reading

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