The State Museum of Pennsylvania

Animation of the Day: Doll Head from Philadelphia

by Bernard K. Means, Director of the Virtual Curation Laboratory (VCL)

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Today’s animation is a doll head recovered archaeologically from a free African American site in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and dates to the early 19th century A.D. It is now within the archaeological collections of The State Museum of Pennsylvania (TSMP). This doll head shows a woman wearing a hat and was scanned by now VCU alumnus Crystal Castleberry on February 7, 2013. It was animated by Lauren Volkers on May 5, 2014.

Categories: 19th century, Animation of the day, figurine, Gallery, The State Museum of Pennsylvania | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Animation of the Day: Stone Ball from Fort Hill

by Bernard K. Means, Director of the Virtual Curation Laboratory (VCL)

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Today’s animation is a stone ball that was excavated in 1939 or 1940 as part of work relief archaeology at the Fort Hill site, a Monongahela village in Somerset County, Pennsylvania. It is now within the archaeological collections of The State Museum of Pennsylvania (TSMP). It was presumably used for game playing.  More information on the Work Projects Administration excavations at Fort Hill can be found here.

Excavating at Fort Hill in 1939 or 1940.

Excavating at Fort Hill in 1939 or 1940.

Categories: Animation of the day, Gallery, groundstone, Monongahela tradition, The State Museum of Pennsylvania, villages | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Animation of the Day: Jack’s Reef Corner Notched Chess Piece

by Bernard K. Means, Director of the Virtual Curation Laboratory (VCL)

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Today’s animation is a a Jack’s Reef Corner Notched point that has been modified to serve as a chess piece (the knight).  It is from the Hoffman site, located in New Jersey and just east of Philadelphia.  It was made available for scanning at the 2014 Middle Atlantic Archaeological Conference by Jesse Walker of Richard Grubb & Associates.  In a post for the 2012 Day of Archaeology, Jesse talked about the site:

In the evening of June 25, 2012, I edited a draft of a publication being prepared regarding a multi-component prehistoric site (28GL228) located in New Jersey immediately east of Philadelphia (Pennsylvania, USA). The article will be published in the journal entitled Archaeology of Eastern North America and presented at the 2012 Eastern States Archaeological Federation meeting in Ohio (USA). The data from 28GL228 provides insight into Native American culture in the Philadelphia region. This project is being conducted on a volunteer basis.

A news article on our archaeological chess sets can be found here.

Categories: Animation of the day, Gallery, The State Museum of Pennsylvania | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Animation of the Day: Chunkey Stone from Fort Hill

by Bernard K. Means, Director of the Virtual Curation Laboratory (VCL)

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Today’s animation is a chunkey stone that was excavated in 1939 or 1940 as part of work relief archaeology at the Fort Hill site, a Monongahela village in Somerset County, Pennsylvania. It is now within the archaeological collections of The State Museum of Pennsylvania (TSMP). Chunkey stones were used in the game of chunkey, where the goal was for two players to throw sticks close to where they expected the stone to come to rest after it had been rolled down a prepared court, without hitting the stone.  This stone was damaged in play and repaired in the early 1940s for display.  More information on the Work Projects Administration excavations at Fort Hill can be found here.

WPA excavations at Fort Hill. Image courtesy of The State Museum of Pennsylvania.

WPA excavations at Fort Hill. Image courtesy of The State Museum of Pennsylvania.

Categories: Animation of the day, Gallery, groundstone, Monongahela tradition, The State Museum of Pennsylvania, villages | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Animation of the Day: Pierced Turtle Carapace

by Bernard K. Means, Director of the Virtual Curation Laboratory (VCL)

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Today’s animation is a fragment of a drilled turtle carapace that was excavated as part of salvage work at the Martin site, a Monongahela village now under the waters of the Youghiogheny Reservoir. It is now within the archaeological collections of The State Museum of Pennsylvania (TSMP). This particular object was scanned on December 17, 2013 by Digital Curation Supervisor Ashley McCuistion and Digital Zooarchaeologist Mariana Zechini at TSMP with support from the Department of Defense’s Legacy Program.

Crew member stands adjacent to excavated Monongahela house in 1941.

Crew member stands adjacent to excavated Monongahela house in 1941.

Update! Matthew Bradley viewed this post and presents evidence that this might be a leg rattle using online collections links.  We appreciate his insights.  See the links cited here:

http://anthro.amnh.org/anthropology/databases/common/image_dup.cfm?catno=50%20%20%2F%207292&from_anthro=no

http://collections.nmnh.si.edu/search/anth/?irn=8337882

Categories: Animation of the day, Gallery, Monongahela tradition, The State Museum of Pennsylvania, villages, worked bone | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

Animation of the Day: Munsee Vessel from the Wyoming Valley of Pennsylvania

by Bernard K. Means, Director of the Virtual Curation Laboratory (VCL) 524_Incised_pot_print Today’s animation is a mended vessel (partial) from the Wyoming Valley in Pennsylvania and is characterized as a Munsee variant.  This vessel is within the archaeological collections of The State Museum of Pennsylvania and was scanned on July 19, 2012.

Scanning the vessel at The State Museum of Pennsylvania.

Scanning the vessel at The State Museum of Pennsylvania.

Categories: Animation of the day, Gallery, Munsee, The State Museum of Pennsylvania | Leave a comment

Animation of the Day: Susquehannock Bone Hair Comb Fragment

by Bernard K. Means, Director of the Virtual Curation Laboratory (VCL)

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Today’s animation is a fragment of a Susquehannock bone hair comb that was broken during manufacture and then discarded.  The bone comb fragment was recovered from Eschelman site (36La12) site located in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and is within the archaeological collections of The State Museum of Pennsylvania.

Categories: 17th century, Animation of the day, Gallery, Susquehannock, The State Museum of Pennsylvania, zoomorphic | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Animation of the Day: Toy Pipe from the McKees Rocks Site

by Bernard K. Means, Director of the Virtual Curation Laboratory (VCL)

211_toy_pipeToday’s animation is a groundstone object identified as a toy pipe.  The pipe has a clearly developed bowl but the “stem” is solid.  The toy pipe is also quite small at just over an inch in length.  It was recovered archaeologically from the McKees Rocks site by a crew of Work Projects Administration archaeologists in the 1930s. The pipe is now in the archaeological collections of The State Museum of Pennsylvania.

Categories: Animation of the day, Gallery, groundstone, The State Museum of Pennsylvania | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Animation of the Day: Engraved Brass Trumpet Smoking Pipe

by Bernard K. Means, Director of the Virtual Curation Laboratory (VCL)

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Today’s animation is an engraved brass trumpet smoking pipe that was made and used by the Susquehannock Indians during the 1600s A.D.  The pipe was recovered from the Eshelman site (36LA12) site in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania and is within the archaeological collections of The State Museum of Pennsylvania, where it was scanned on March 7, 2012.

Categories: 17th century, Animation of the day, Gallery, Smoking pipe, Susquehannock, The State Museum of Pennsylvania | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Animation of the Day: Cannel Coal Pendant from Fort Hill

by Bernard K. Means, Director of the Virtual Curation Laboratory (VCL)

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Today’s animation is a cannel coal pendant recovered archaeologically from the Fort Hill site, a Monongahela village excavated by a Work Projects Administration (WPA) crew in 1939 or 1940  in Somerst County, Pennsylvania, under the direction of Edgar E. Augustine  (Means 2002). Archaeologist William C. Johnson (2001:82) suggests that these were badges worn by the Monongahela and that helps identify the Monongahela as the Black Minqua. This artifact is now in the collections of The State Museum of Pennsylvania.

Sticks were placed in postholes to keep track of feature locations during winter excavations at Fort Hill.

Sticks were placed in postholes to keep track of feature locations during winter excavations at Fort Hill.

References Cited:

Johnson, William C.
2001  The Protohistoric Monongahela and the Case for an Iroquois Connection. In Societies in Eclipse: Archaeology of the Eastern Woodlands Indians, A.D. 1400-1700, edited by David S. Brose, C. Wesley Cowan, and Robert C. Mainfort, Jr., pp. 67-82.

Means, Bernard K.
2002 “….To Reconstruct These Houses of Men Who Lived in a Stone Age:” ModelingVillage Community Organization Using Data from the SomersetCounty Relief Excavations.  In Northeast Subsistence-Settlement Change: A.D. 700 – A.D. 1300, edited by John P. Hart and Christina Rieth, pp. 43-71. New York State Museum Bulletin 496. The University of the State of New York, Albany.

Categories: Animation of the day, Gallery, Monongahela tradition, The State Museum of Pennsylvania, villages, worked bone | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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