News for Immediate Release
Harrisburg – The public is invited to meet archaeologists from The State
Museum of Pennsylvania from Aug. 30 through Sept. 1 as part of Harrisburg’s
annual Kipona celebration. Staff archaeologists will present an interactive
display focusing on the excavations conducted on City Island by the City of
Harrisburg and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC).
will be on City Island daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Brochures on the
archaeology of Pennsylvania will be available.
excavations conducted between 1992 and 2004 reveal more than 9,600 years of
Native American habitation.
artifacts will be on display as well as the popular dugout canoe replica.
PHMC archaeologists made the canoe using the stone tool technology Native
Americans used prior to contact with Europeans.
of the more spectacular finds from the excavation was a collection of
4,500-year-old woodworking tools. These tools, along with those used to make
the dugout canoe, provide a wonderful narrative on Native American
transportation and technology.
discovered City Island’s earliest remains more than 8 feet below the existing asphalt
parking lot. The artifacts belong to a small family who likely hunted,
fished and collected roots, seeds and berries on the island.
archaeological record shows that City Island was home to a major occupation
between 4,000 and 4,800 years ago involving large groups of possibly 50 men,
women and children. Artifacts from this period include spear points,
knives, scrapers, axes, adzes and cooking pots carved from soapstone.
found these vestiges scattered in and around cooking hearths, roasting pits and
stone boiling pits about 2 feet to 3 feet below the surface. The number
and variety of the tools point to these groups having spent several months on
Island is an unusual type of archaeological site thanks to soil washed in by
floods and deposited in layers. This type of site allows archaeologists
to trace the history of technological changes, the development of farming and
the cultural response to climate change over thousands of years.
Museum of Pennsylvania, adjacent to the State Capitol in Harrisburg, is one of
25 historic sites and museums administered by the Pennsylvania Historical and
Museum Commission as part of the Pennsylvania Trails of History®.
The State Museum offers expansive collections interpreting
Pennsylvania’s fascinating heritage. With exhibits examining the
dawn of geologic time, the Native American experience, the colonial and
revolutionary era, a pivotal Civil War battleground, and the Commonwealth's
vast industrial age, The State Museum demonstrates that Pennsylvania's story is
hours are Wed. through Sat., 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sun., noon to 5 p.m.
Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for children and senior citizens.
information about the museum, visit www.statemuseumpa.org.
Media Contact: Howard Pollman, 717-705-8639