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EU celebrates Pa. Archaeology Month with films, field trips and much more


October is Pennsylvania Archaeology Month, and Edinboro University’s Department of History, Anthropology and World Languages is celebrating with a long list of activities.

“We’re doing a whole month’s worth of events, everything from films to field trips to hands-on activities. They’re open to everybody,” said Dr. Lenore Barbian, professor and acting chairperson of the History Department. “The whole idea is to promote archaeology and what you can learn from archaeology to people who wouldn’t otherwise know what archaeology is.”

Highlights of Archaeology Month include a ground-penetrating radar demonstration, movie and game nights, lectures, trips to Sceiford Farms and Drake Well, display-case presentations featuring artifacts from northwestern Pennsylvania dating to the 1700s and the “Raiders of the ‘Boro: The Indiana Jones Challenge.” A full listing of events dates, locations and descriptions follows. 

All events are open to the public. For additional information, contact Stacy Dunn at

Archaeological study thrives at EU due in large part to the resources available through the University’s Anthropological Research Center and Archaeological Lab.  The Center brings together collections, resources and faculty expertise to coordinate and encourage archaeological, ethnological and biological anthropology research and to promote an interest in and greater understanding of anthropology within EU and the wider community.

Collections and resources housed in the ARC include artifacts from the excavations of the Fort LeBoeuf, Judson House, Eagle Hotel, Battles Farmstead and Griswold sites; data sheets from the Old Edinboro Cemetery project; EU’s collection of forensic cast materials; a fossil hominid cast collection; the Human Relations Area Files; and The American Journal of Physical Anthropology (1985-present).

“These collections have been used as part of student projects, where they are learning how to catalog artifacts. The collections are also available for students to do independent research. We had a student last spring who worked on an Honor’s project using the collections, and she’s actually going to be presenting that work at a conference coming up,” Barbian said. “And we also now have an anthropology capstone seminar where the students have to do a research project, and so we encourage them not to do just a library project but to actually do a data collection project.”

“And, of course, they [the collections] are open to everybody; it’s not just our departmental students,” she continued. “We have open hours where the Archaeological Research Center is open to the public.”

The hours for the ARC for the fall 2013 semester are Mondays, 9 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. and 4:30-5:15 p.m.; Tuesdays, 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.; and Wednesdays, 9 a.m. to 1:45 p.m.

For more information about the Anthropological Research Center at Edinboro University, contact the History Department at 814-732-2575 and/or Dr. Barbian at

Archaeology Month at Edinboro -- Schedule of Events


Museum Exhibit:

  • Tuesday October 1st – ‘teaser’ display on “What is Archaeology?” and “Ft. LeBoeuf & the French and Indian War”
  • Monday October 21st – full display on “Daily Life in Colonial Pennsylvania” and accompanying talk by History/Anthropology undergraduate student, Hannah Schneider, at 6pm

Come by any time and check out the display cases on the 2nd Floor, Baron-Forness Library! Throughout the month, these cases will feature information, drawings, replicas, and actual artifacts on what this region was like in the 1700s.


Movie Review Night:

  • Every Wednesday evening in October,  6-7:30pm in Hendricks Hall Room 126

Need a break? Each week we will be watching a different ~50 min film on an archaeological place or issue; it varies from the Holy Grail to the Terracotta Soldiers in China.  These movies should be quite entertaining -- they’re older possibly sensational, so we will review them MST3K or Siskel & Ebert –style!  The movies are free and there will be free popcorn.


Farm Life in 1800s PA: Hurry Hill Maple Farm trip:

  • Sunday October 6th 3pm meet at the Hendricks Hall parking lot

“Visit northwestern Pennsylvania’s only Maple Museum in Edinboro, Pennsylvania! Here you’ll glimpse the art and science of making pure maple syrup, a bit of the history of this delicious natural product and the fun that’s part of the entire process.” –   We will be going as a group to visit the museum, taste some maple syrup, and learn about farm life in the 1800s. This is a free event and a carpool to the farm will be provided.


Ground Penetrating Radar demonstration:

  • Tuesday October 8th 10:30am, meet at Hendricks Hall Room 127 to go to location TBA on campus

Edinboro U’s own Dr. Straffin from the Geosciences Department will be doing a demonstration of the use of Ground Penetrating Radar, which can be used by archaeologists to detect features below the surface – such as buried stone walls or burials. This is a free event and we will walk to the survey site.


Brain-Tanning demonstration:

  • Tuesday October 8th 7pm, meet at Hendricks Hall Room 127 to go to location off-campus TBA

Mr. Schnieder, a member of local history groups, will be doing a hands-on demonstration on the old art of brain-tanning (using animal brains to treat animal skins to produce leather).  It will be gross, smelly, and an absolutely unique experience!  This event is free and carpools will be arranged to the off-campus site.


History of the Domesticated Apple: Apple-picking at Sceiford Farms:

  • Friday October 11th 1pm meet at Hendricks Hall parking lot to go to farm

Experience the delight in picking your own apples from a local apple farm!  During the trip, we will also talk about the archaeological evidence for how/why/when fruit trees were first domesticated.  The trip is free (except for whatever apples etc you purchase!) and a carpool to the farm will be provided.


Games of the Ancients:

  • Monday October 14th stop by anytime between 1:30-3pm in Hendricks Hall Room 101

Take a break right before Reading Day! We will be playing a variety of games, some inspired by/themed archaeology, others actual replicas of games played in ancient societies.  Free snacks will be provided.


Volunteer Event at Drake Well in Titusville, PA:

  • Saturday October 19th, meet at 9am in Hendricks Hall parking lot

Drake Well is where “in 1859 Edwin Drake drilled the oil well that launched the modern petroleum industry.” --  Dr. Bemko of the Dept of History, Anthropology, and World Languages has been doing regular volunteer events to help out the museum there, and the more hands, the merrier! We will be assisting with various museum operations, so no previous experience is needed and no museum fee will be charged. Afterwards, Dr. Bemko will give us a general tour of the site.  Lunch will be provided and we will have a carpool to the museum.


Experimental Archaeology:

  • Thursday October 24th stop by any time between 1-4:30pm in Hendricks Hall Room 127 (ARC)

Due to last year’s success, Professor Dunn of the History, Anthropology, and World Languages Department will be doing experimental archaeology hands-on workshops in the Anthropological Research Center.  This year, we have: felt-making from genuine alpaca fur, carving and drilling soapstone beads, flintknapping, and weaving grass mats.  Learn what it is like to make things in the same ways ancient civilizations did!  There is no cost for this event, and you get to take home what you make!


Raiders of the ‘Boro: The Indiana Jones Challenge:

  • Saturday October 27th, 11am start at Hendricks Hall Rm 133

Everyone has seen the movies, now you get to live the adventure!  This is a scavenger hunt combined with an obstacle course that will send you trekking across all of EU campus! You will follow clues to hidden sites, dodge (nerf) bullets from enemy soldiers, cross pits full of (fake) snakes, and hopefully find the prize.  It may not be how actual archaeology is done, but it’s still a good time.  There will be prizes for the fastest times, best Indy costume, and the most successful survivor.  Entry is free but donations/sponsors are strongly encouraged, since all proceeds from the event will be donated to the renovation of the Ft. LeBoeuf Museum in Waterford, PA by the Ft. LeBoeuf Historical Society and the French Creek Living History Assocation (hopefully to support their re-opening!).


These events are open to the general public. For additional information about these events, contact