Dr. Beverly Chiarulli, Department of Anthropology, was awarded $9,895 by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission to investigate the Squirrel Hill site, a National Register listed Monongahela culture archaeological site in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, and to develop a National Register multiple property context for Late Prehistoric villages associated with the Johnston Phase of the Monongahela culture.
She is assisted by Anthropology Department graduate students Meggie Pace and Lydia DeHaven.
Although the Squirrel Hill site is listed in the National Register, the only reported investigation of the site was undertaken in the early 1950s by amateur archaeologists and members of the Conemaugh Chapter of the Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology. Many questions remain about the date and cultural affiliations of the Squirrel Hill site that can be answered through a systematic survey of the site using advanced geophysical technologies to determine the internal arrangement of villages through the non-destructive mapping of stockades, houses, and storage pits, and by collecting limited excavation samples for analysis and dating. Not only will this investigation allow us to better understand the internal organization of the Squirrel Hill site and relationships with neighboring communities, but it will also provide us with comparable data to that we have from other Johnston Phase sites to provide the basis for the multiple property context.