#DayofArch at Historic Hanna’s Town

This year I spent the Day of Archaeology working in at Historic Hanna’s Town, a 18th Century town in western Pennsylvania. Hanna’s Town was the first seat of Westmoreland county, as well as the site of the first English court west of the Allegheny Mountains.  Hanna’s Town was founded around 1773, and in 1782 raiding party of Seneca warriors and British regulars burned much of the town, resulting in its decline and eventual abandonment.   I am working here as a part of Advanced Archaeological Field Methods, a graduate-level course offered by Indiana University of Pennsylvania.  The Westmoreland County Historical Society is planning to build a new collections and education building on the site, and as part of this course, my assignment has been to design and execute a field research strategy to determine whether archaeological resources are located within this area, and then mitigate any impact that the construction of this building may have on these resources.  Today we dug test pits, most of which were negative.  Yesterday we found a coal miner’s check (see photo below), as well as nails, and pieces of glass and ceramic.  These artifacts are not associated with Hanna’s Town, but instead with the farmstead that occupied the site from the early 1800’s until 1969.  We plan to use the data we obtain from our test pits in conjunction with ground penetrating radar to determine where potential features are located and guide the next phase of our project.


A coal miner’s check