How this rare Luzerne County bead blends history with technology

How this rare Luzerne County bead blends history with technology

In the early 1980s, Emanco Inc. archaeologists recovered a glass bead, three gunflints and two musket balls from the Gould Island site in Luzerne County, Pa. Most unusual was the discovery of this blue-and-white glass bead. On one side, the artifact depicts symbols of a man-in-the-moon and two stars. The reverse side features a shooting …

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Dauphin County projectile point collection dates to the Ice Age

Dauphin County projectile point collection dates to the Ice Age

This week’s Pennsylvania Treasure is the fluted projectile point collection from the Shoop archaeological site in Dauphin County. These artifacts, some of the oldest in the collections kept by The State Museum’s Section of Archaeology, hail from a site that made a significant contribution to our understanding of past cultural behavior in the Eastern United …

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Expedition North Pole: New Kensington surgeon brings home artistry of Inuit culture

Expedition North Pole: New Kensington surgeon brings home artistry of Inuit culture

More than 100 years ago, the race to claim the North Pole was a significant feat which many had tried, but none had succeeded. The opportunity to join Admiral Robert Peary’s 1908-1909 expedition was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a young physician from western Pennsylvania. Doctor John W. Goodsell (1873-1949), a native of New Kensington, Westmoreland …

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Ephrata Cloister’s Glass Trumpet is likely “one of a kind”

Ephrata Cloister’s Glass Trumpet is likely “one of a kind”

It’s not often that an archaeological find is classified as “one of a kind.” However, a glass trumpet discovered in Pennsylvania merits such a distinction. Archaeological investigations have been conducted at Ephrata Cloister, an unusual German religious commune founded in 1732 in Lancaster County, since 1993. In 1995, this unique artifact was unearthed from a …

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The Face Pot: The distinctive pottery of the Susquehannock Indians

The Face Pot: The distinctive pottery of the Susquehannock Indians

The first chronicled contact between Europeans and the Susquehannock Indians occurred in 1607 when Captain John Smith encountered 60 Susquehannocks near the head of Chesapeake Bay. Captain Smith’s account states that . . . “Those are the strangest people of all those countries, both in language and attire” . . . and that . . …

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Native American pottery vessel tells story of winter survival

Native American pottery vessel tells story of winter survival

Native American culture groups remain an important component in the development of our commonwealth.  This week’s Pennsylvania Treasure, now on exhibit in Pennsylvania Icons at The State Museum of Pennsylvania, features the significant archaeological recovery of a native-made clay storage vessel. Archaeologists have developed a strategy for dating sites, based in part on the artifacts recovered.  …

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