Anthropology Club Visits Meadowcroft Rockshelter

Posted on 9/29/2012 3:14:21 PM
Anthropology Club at Meadowcroft

The IUP Anthropology Club sponsored a trip to the Meadowcroft Rockshelter, one of the oldest sites of human habitation in North America, on Saturday, September 22, 2012, during American Indian Heritage weekend.

The group arrived around noon for lunch on the site, located southwest of Pittsburgh in Washington County, Pa. Students were then free to roam and examine the site at their own pace. Since it was American Indian Heritage weekend, students were able to visit recreated historic and prehistoric villages of Eastern North America, see a fishing demonstration, and, of course, visit the Rockshelter. A group of 17 students made the trip, including club officers Robin Matty, president; Amanda McCarthy, secretary, and Michele Troutman, treasurer.

The trip to Meadowcroft Rockshelter is an annual event. Meadowcroft Rockshelter is a Paleo-Indian Archaeological site near Avella, Pennsylvania, located near the border of Ohio and Pennsylvania. It was deemed as an historic landmark in 2005. Discoved in the 1950s, it was first excavated in the 1970s by James Adavasio, then of the University of Pittsburgh.

Pam Clouser and Paul Good in the schoolhouse

(Left: Pam Clouser and Paul Good in the Meadowcroft schoolhouse)

Meadowcroft Rockshelter is not only fascinating in itself, but also worth a visit during the special events that that are planned each year. According to Amanda McCarthy, club secretary and senior Anthropology major, “We enjoyed learning about how Native Americans once cooked, hunted, fished, trapped, etc., in this area. We saw the traditional housing and what the traditional clothing looked like in the 1800s. We learned how to throw a tomahawk and an arrow with an atlatl. We also visited a frontier village, which was neat! We learned how the settlers cooked and dressed, what they ate, and how their housing looked. We journeyed into the 1900s and sat through a day at school in a one-room schoolhouse that taught to eighth grade. We learned how they said the Pledge of Allegiance and how it differs from today’s pledge, and we had a reading lesson, a math lesson, and exercise. We learned what boys and girls would take to school for lunch and what they would take it in, and how punishment was given for defiance in school in those days. We got to see a live blacksmith bend metal to make a pair of horseshoes. Meadowcroft is always a fun trip, and we all had a good time! It was definitely a great trip to go on, and the members of the IUP Anthropology Club made it twice the fun!”

Brian Doster, Ruth Ann, and Laura Ellyson

(Right: Club members Brian Doster, Ruth Ann Altman, and Laura Ellyson taking a break at Meadowcroft)

The next Anthropology Club meeting is scheduled for Thursday, October 18, at 6:30 p.m. Roseann Giambro, the gorilla keeper at the Pittsburgh zoo, will give a presentation in Weyandt Hall auditorium (room 32).

Department of Anthropology