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Discover 16,000 Years of History at the Meadowcroft Rockshelter

Travel back 16,000 years to western Pennsylvania this spring with a visit to the Meadowcroft Rockshelter. Sixty years ago, a Washington County, PA farmer struck something a little more valuable than gold: a soon-to-be major archaeological site that would yield over two million artifacts from the oldest site of human habitation ever discovered on the continent. From the rock shelter located in a bluff overlooking a tributary of the Ohio River less than 30 miles outside of Pittsburgh, state-of-the-art excavations yielded pre-Clovis remains as deep as twelve feet underground, prismatic blades, pottery, and even seashells from the Atlantic. Within a couple decades, Meadowcroft had quickly changed just about everything in its field.

Today, the National Historic Landmark can be admired with daily tours of the Rockshelter that reveal prehistoric tools, ice-age campfires, and the ancient history of hunters and gatherers. In addition, visitors can also experience several stages of rural life throughout Pennsylvania’s history by exploring the 16th century Eastern Woodland Indian village, an 18th century log cabin and trading post, and the 19th century historic village including a church, blacksmith shop, and one-room schoolhouse.

Interact with various re-enactors as you walk through the living history exhibits that are designed to show how life was once lived in Western Pennsylvania. View the traditional blacksmithing exhibit and walk the rows of wrought iron desks in an early-1800s recreated classroom. Visit the website for more information on Meadowcroft’s Historic Village.

You can also tour the Frontier Trading Post where the Old World settlers collided with New World Indians. The trading shelter is recreated from typical 1770s frontier trading posts. Learn about the challenges facing both indigenous people and European settlers as these two very different cultures collided among a picturesque landscape full of natural resources.

Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village opens its doors for the season on May 5th, 2018. Daily tours begin at the Visitor Center and last approximately one hour. Bring a picnic lunch, relax, and enjoy the beautiful rural setting of Meadowcroft; and don’t forget to plan your visit with a stay at a Pennsylvania bed & breakfast inn today! Click here for more information.

Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village

401 Meadowcroft Road

Avella, PA 15312


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