Rain Damage @ Meadowcroft

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Rain Damage @ Meadowcroft

Postby uniface » Sun Aug 04, 2013 5:57 am

A team from Mercyhurst University plans to arrive in Washington County on Wednesday to assess what damage heavy rain inflicted on the archaeological remnants left by North America's oldest human inhabitants.

James M. Adovasio, provost and director of the Erie university's Archaeological Institute, will lead a team to re-excavate the Meadowcroft Rockshelter in Avella where four decades ago he discovered what is considered the earliest, well-dated archaeological site on the continent.

“The lower portions were substantially affected by the unexpected flooding,” Adovasio said.

Heavy rains have pelted Western Pennsylvania, including Meadowcroft, this month.

Floodwater caused extensive damage to a section of the excavated site dating back 3,000 to 10,000 years, Adovasio said.

He and a small team of researchers and students will recut the excavated area, restore the site's integrity and make it viewable again for the public. Work will take at least two weeks, he said.

Adovasio said the flood damage isn't all bad because it offers a chance for his team to better understand the transformation of hunters and gatherers to people who settled and built communities.

“It just happens that the time frame (with the damage) coincides with some of the most important times in the history of people in eastern North America,” he said. “We'll be able to better understand these periods.

“But given our druthers, we certainly wouldn't have done this right now.”

http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/4448 ... z2b0I0ajSq

Most of the site – about two-thirds – was excavated in that landmark dig 40 years ago. But a small portion was left behind in order to give researchers a chance to dig in the future as technology improved.


Last month’s downpour affected virgin ground at the site. A few inches of dirt was washed away from the earthen wall, taking with it any artifacts therein. A few inches may not seem that devastating, but to such a heavily stratified site, the damage was not insignificant.

When heavy rains pounded the area July 10, water surged through an underground root cavity onto a delicately preserved portion of the site.

“Imagine it this way,” Adovasio said. “If you had a cake in front of you that had 17 or 18 layers of icing and cake, then icing and cake, and then water effectively smeared the front of the cake so that you couldn’t see the layers any more.”

http://www.observer-reporter.com/articl ... f5MEoWHf-U
uniface
 

Re: Rain Damage @ Meadowcroft

Postby kbs2244 » Sun Aug 04, 2013 1:40 pm

Ahh yes.
The Lord taketh and the Lord takth away.
When fate gives you lemons, make lemonade.

There is a whole lot at this site.
Now they get to look at things they were not planning on.
In the end, I would say this was a good thing.
kbs2244
 
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