Archaeology Group Plans Open House

July 15, 2018
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Archaeology Group Plans Open House

Fire up your flux capacitor and head to the Duryea for a trip back in time.

The Frances Dorrance Chapter of the Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology is hosting an open house at its excavation site near the Coxton rail yard from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. today.

Chapter members and the public are welcome to visit, view and even participate in the archaeological dig. No experience is needed. Participants can learn how natives in the area lived long before white settlers arrived and see where John Phillips, one of the area’s earliest white settlers, had a homestead.

The site is located off Main Street in Duryea. Turn onto Coxton Road and then onto the dirt road on the left just beyond the underpass and the bridge. The site is about one mile up the road, with ample parking.

The dig site is sometimes called the Conrail site because Conrail owned the land and gave permission to the chapter to open a large scale archaeological dig beginning in the 1990s. The Conrail site contains three layers of artifacts representing the Historical or Contact Period, 1550 to today; the Woodland Period, 1200 B.C. to 1550 A.D., and the Archaic Period, 8000 to 1200 B.C.

In 2009, volunteers digging in the Historical level struck organized stacks of large rocks around what they determined was the site of the Phillips home. The Phillips dig has yielded hundreds of artifacts over the years.

Finds such as coins, French and English gunflints from the late 1700s, which were also used to make a spark to start fires, and clay pipes suggest there may have been a trading post in the area.

A display of artifacts found at the site — such as rare Kirk Points from the Early Archaic Period — will be displayed and light refreshments will be served. There is no charge for this event. Contact Ted Baird at 570-842-2708 or tedbaird@verizon.net for information. Frances Dorrance Chapter President Al Pesotine directs the dig.

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