Williamsport - The recent discovery of mound builder artifacts in the small town of Loganton, Pa., has excited local residents and archaeologists. “We are just beginning the investigation, but I can tell you that if all is what it seems - this is an important discovery,” said Thomas “Tank” Baird, President of North Central Chapter 8 of the Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology.
A presentation and display of artifacts is open to the public at 6 p.m. on Monday, February 3, 2020 at the Thomas Taber Museum, located at 858 West Fourth Street, Williamsport. A second presentation will be given at 1 p.m. Saturday, February 15 at the Sugar Valley Charter School, 236 E. Main Street, Loganton.
The artifacts are from the Adena Culture, the first long distant Native American traders. Beginning in about 800 BC, they survived as an important culture set apart from the Early Woodlands peoples while building incredible mounds and earthworks in their homeland of southcentral Ohio.
Often referred to as “Egyptian like” because of the culture’s trading for exotic materials across a prehistoric landscape and burying them with important dead in conical burial mounds, they traveled and traded for copper, freshwater pearls, gypsum, and exotic flint and stone.
NCC8 has been hard at work with research and site visits in cooperation with the Sugar Valley Historical Society since the site’s rediscovery in the spring of 2019. This collection of projectile points and other artifacts include materials from Texas, Kentucky, Ohio, and Illinois. Finely crafted, these items showcase the skill of these people.
Part of the mystery is in where the artifacts where found. Although distribution and ceremonial centers dot areas along the Delaware River and the Chesapeake Bay, as well as western Pennsylvania, the Adena seemingly avoided travel on the Susquehanna River and may have used overland paths to get to and from the East Coast.
“They do not appear to be part of the archaeological record on the north or west branch of the Susquehanna and that is precisely why this discovery is important”, said Baird.
Was this a burial or just trade goods lost along the way? The discovery site is along a known historic Indian path, was this simply a path or a Native American highway? Come be part of the discussion.
NCC8 is the Lycoming County chapter of the Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology, Inc., which promotes the study of the prehistoric and historic archaeological resources of Pennsylvania and neighboring states.
Learn more about the group online at www.PennArchaeology.com.