Back in October 2023, we shared a blog highlighting the updates to the Hardyston Jasper District that PA SHPO archaeologists were working on. These updates included reevaluating our PASS data to create and formally designate the NPS/Keeper Eligible Hardyston Jasper District, refine the district’s boundaries from the boundary established in the 1988 report by Anthony and Roberts, and identifying and evaluating sites for inclusion in the Hardyston Jasper District.

Since our last blog, we have mapped the district in PA-SHARE , added the contributing archaeological sites from the 1980s reports, and added additional contributing archaeological sites from archaeological surveys that have been conducted in and around the district since the 1980s.

Image of an online form showing a photograph of a wooded area and map with text.

Updated PA-SHARE record for the Hardyston Jasper District.

The grand total of contributing archaeological sites currently sits at 227. This includes quarries and lithic production sites.

To determine whether an archaeological site could be associated with the district, we used the same criteria used in the 1980s:

  • the site must be within 30 miles of the established district boundaries,
  • the artifact assemblage must consist of at least 50% jasper, and
  • the minimum sample size must be at least 50 artifacts.

After conducting a search of all sites recorded in the area since the 1980s, we were able to associate 56 additional sites!

You might be asking yourself “Why is this important?”.

Well, quarry and quarry-related sites were so commonly encountered during the development of Interstate 78, that PennDOT sponsored the 1988 report that was written by Anthony and Roberts.

As we mentioned in part one of this blog series, this report redefined the boundaries and criteria for the present-day Hardyston Jasper District. Furthermore, this district exists in an area of southeastern Pennsylvania that continues to see increased construction and ground disturbing projects.

Therefore, knowing where these sites are and what to look for when planning future ground disturbing projects is vital for documenting, protecting, and preserving these incredibly important archaeological sites.

Visiting a Quarry Site

On November 29, 2023, PA SHPO archaeologists met with staff and tribal members from the Delaware Tribe and Delaware Nation, Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC), USACE (United States Army Corps of Engineers) and archaeological consultants at Jasper Park in Emmaus, Lehigh County.

Large group of people stand in wooded area.

At Jasper Park in Emmaus, Lehigh County in November 2023.

This site visit was conducted to discuss potential adverse effects to the Jasper Park site from a proposed PTC project.

Susan Bachor, Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the Delaware Tribe, stated that protecting these quarry sites from destruction is vital to ensuring that tribal members from Delaware Tribe and Delaware Nation have access to sites that were created by their Lenape ancestors.

By preserving these sites, tribal members can gain a better understanding of the types of lithic materials their ancestors preferred, where and how their ancestors situated themselves throughout their homelands, understanding the large and intricate trade networks Lenape ancestors created and participated in, and understanding how their ancestors not only survived, but thrived in their homelands.

As archaeologists, we have a duty to act as cultural stewards to every single archaeological site so that these sites and the knowledge they hold are not lost.

Group of people stand in wooded area looking at paper.

Site visit to Jasper Park in November 2023. Photo by PA SHPO.

This is especially important when working on the ancestral homelands of our federally recognized tribal partners that were removed from their homelands. Being a cultural steward also means supporting our tribal partners in their efforts to reconnect with their ancestral homelands.

By updating the Hardyston Jasper District, PA SHPO is now in a better position to protect these quarry and quarry-related sites.

Moving forward, PA SHPO will continue to associate quarry and quarry-related sites to the Hardyston Jasper District that are identified from current and future projects. This will enable us to be better informed and proactive when reviewing ground disturbing projects within this region of southeastern PA.

If you know of any sites to record, please reach out!