Applied Archaeology MA student, Sami Taylor, assisted by IUP alumnus, Angela Jaillet-Wentling hosted a public archaeology weekend at the site of Pandenarium. The event was covered by the Record-Argus newspaper.
Pandenarium is a pre-Civil War, manumitted African American settlement located in Mercer County. The inhabitants of Pandenarium were freed by their owner in Virginia and moved as a community to Mercer County during the 1850s. The settlement was eventually abandoned as residents and their descendants moved away. Sami Taylor is currently researching one of the foundations in the settlement and plans to analyze the ceramics from the site to learn more about diet and consumption in the community. Taylor is being assisted by Angela Jaillet-Wentling, who graduated from the Applied Archaeology MA Program in 2011 and now works as an archaeologist for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT). Jaillet-Wentling also researched Pandenarium for her thesis and conducted a shovel test pit survey and geophysical survey of the site.
Jaillet-Wentling and Taylor both believe strongly that archaeology should be shared with the public. They organized a public excavation day over the weekend of September 16-17. Seventeen people of all ages and archaeological experience joined the excavation. The team learned about the site, excavated several holes, screened the soils to recover artifacts, and learned about the material culture of this important site.