Anthropology’s Ford Discusses Hanna’s Town Excavation with Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology Chapter

Posted on 9/19/2014 10:32:51 AM

Ben Ford presented the results of recent archaeological investigations at the Historic Hanna’s Town Site to the Ohio Valley Chapter of the Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology on September 17, 2014.

Ford’s talk, “Preliminary Analysis of the Hanna’s Town Collection and How it Can Help Us Present the Site to the Public,” summarized IUP’s ongoing work at the site.

Hanna’s Town was the first English county seat west of the Allegheny Mountains and the home of the Hanna’s Town Resolves—the first proclamation of a willingness to resist tyranny with violence in the American colonies.

IUP has been working at the site since 2011. The Anthropology Department has held two archaeological field schools at the site, and there are currently five MA theses being conducted using artifacts from the site. Four decades of previous excavations have generated nearly one million artifacts and several feet of records. Ford is working with students to digitize these records so that they can be studied and made accessible to other researchers.

The collection has the potential to shed light on the lives of frontier inhabitants of various classes, ethnicities, ages, and genders. Hanna’s Town is an important historical and archaeological site that is poorly understood. The goal of the Hanna’s Town project is to synthesis the enormous data set to better understand life in colonial Pennsylvania, and to use this information to better interpret the site to the public.  

Artist's Reconstruction of Hanna's Town
Artist's reconstruction of Hanna’s Town circa 1775.