The Story Begins At Meadowcroft! (Havok's experience)

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posted on Oct, 15 2012 @ 08:41 PM
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So it began as a curiousity, perhaps...a local site never explored by yours truly. I have always heard about the Meadowcroft Rock Shelter but never visited the site or took the time to research it like I should have. I have always wondered how people travelled around this area, and why we aren't taught too much about the history in school. I never actually did any research of this site, even though I live not far from it...

Until now. Here's my brief explanation of what I urge many of you to visit.

I recently went on a trip there with my dad just to see what all the hype was about. I mean, it's not everyday you get to journey into the past, right in your neck-of-the-woods! We are talking about a site that has the history of human habitation from 16,000 years ago! That's way before any schoolbook would have you believe...I was excited to say the least and we had an excellent day to walk around the park. I am including some pictures as a guide, but trust me, like all visitations, the pictures do the park NO justice.

This site is immense. The park itself is setup like a walking history tour. I will try to guide you along just a few of the interesting sites I walked through, to give the reader an idea on how fascinating this place is.
(if you are a history buff like myself you would love it)
Now, the majority of my time was spent at the Native village so that's where I am focusing this thread. There are plenty of other exhibits at this place that show the Settlers life from the 1700-1800's and even a reconstructed village from that era. But you'll just have to make a trip to see it for yourself...I can't spoil everything!

First, we get to the park and enter the Native American Village. It is a reconstructed view of what the local natives would've lived like around the years 1400-1600. A basic village consisted of a wig-wam, and a surrounding fence of trees, inter-woven with branches to provide defense and shelter from the elements and animals alike. An extremely well presented representation.
Here is the entrance to the Native Village and you can see how they tried to replicate the fence used around that time with pine branches as cover:


Here are a few pictures of the tools the natives used at the time. A flint-knapped knife and a few arrows that were constructed with the same materials used then. Also, the animal furs they used at the time.


The hunting shelters that would've been used for the months hunted away from camp.


This is the wig-wam setup to look as though it was still in use...


This is the only pic of my ugly butt in this entire trip but I'm standing inside the wig-wam. These structures housed 12-15 people at a time, and it seemed to be quite roomy.


Here is the Atl-Atl exhibit which you could actually use their Atl-Atl and try to hit the target. I honestly spent the better half of an hour there just throwing darts. I am definitely building an Atl-Atl as soon as possible!


So, now for the Rockshelter itself...

This site is extremely fascinating for a great deal of people as it shows the travels of humans that span 16,000 years around this area. It's one of the oldest sites in North America, proving that we don't know exactly how long this continent was inhabited. You can do more research at this link: Meadowcroft. It will give you a more in-depth reading of the sites history and story behind how it was discovered (and hidden from looters) before being excavated. The last major excavation ended in 1978 and I believe they have found all they can find at this site. But it was extremely worth the time to have a great experience at a place that has seen so many different people.
This is a picture of the outside structure built to house the excavation site. The Rock outcropping is extremely massive and these pictures show no real scale. It is huge.


Here's a picture of the site itself, showing all the tags used from the last excavation. They mark all the different layers of substrate found and even how many different fire pits (350+ I believe) It's amazing to realize how many people stopped at this site just to get out of the weather and build a fire, eat food and just rest before continuing on their journey. The tour guide said that 10,000's of bones have been found there. Even old broken rum jars from settlers in the 1700's that were knapped into arrowheads. Imagine the stories told over the campfires in that place.


Here are a few more pictures of the site showing its huge size and excavation detail.
Looking down from the top entrance:


And another picture:


To sum things up, if you are interested in History and you live in the Tri-state (OH, WV, PA) area, I highly recommend making a trip to see this national treasure. It's located in the little town of Avella, PA. There is just way too much information to post here on this forum and the entire exhibit is a great place. The staff are all extremely knowledgable and good people. I enjoyed my trip immensely and would definitely do it again, as I didn't even get to see all of it. All in all, the Meadowcroft Rockshelter is an experience that will remain with me for my lifetime. (and I will definitely re-visit again)



edit on 15-10-2012 by havok because: you can't align center pictures apparently....





posted on Oct, 15 2012 @ 09:02 PM
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reply to post by havok
 


What an awesome trip that must have been for you. Great photos, and narrative too...

I feel like it's a place I've lived before. It all looks so familiar. Or, maybe it's what our future will look like, if we as a species, don't get our act together.

Thanks for the great thread.....


Des



posted on Oct, 15 2012 @ 09:35 PM
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reply to post by havok
 


Sites like this are so cool. Thanks for sharing, and for posting the pictures!



posted on Oct, 16 2012 @ 06:15 AM
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What I found truly amazing is the actual village itself.
The way those people lived was absolute survival.
It was a time of starvation, not a time of plenty like today.
People ate everything they come across and didn't waste anything.
The exacavation site had bones and shells from every animal in the local area.
Pigeons, mice, mollusks, snails and of course deer and fish.
They grew some staple foods in a three pack called the Three Sisters garden.
It was mainly comprised of corn, a stalk bean and a squash.
Plus a native tobacco plant called Nicotiana Rustica.
Very trying times for those people.
And everyone helped, even the children.


It's an extremely interesting subject when researched.
Seeing all the stress created from the drama of todays life, it's a great way to escape.
Plus, learning how to live simply like in the past, may help us survive the future!






posted on Oct, 16 2012 @ 11:10 AM
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reply to post by havok
 


The Three Sisters is still used today! But now we call it "companion planting".

Awesome thread!



posted on Oct, 16 2012 @ 11:21 AM
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reply to post by havok
 


Good thread Havok

I would note that you are speaking of tribal living as if it is 'passed', its still here and about 500 million people still live using essentially the same methods



posted on Oct, 16 2012 @ 11:42 AM
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reply to post by havok
 
Dear me, I read this hours ago and starred it and flagged it. How often do we see great visual OPs in this section? Not often enough! First hand accounts? Hardly ever. I expected double-figure flags at least.


Thanks for posting it and I plan to do a little more reading about the site. It reminds me of other locations across Northern Europe and perhaps that's why these sites are so fascinating? Cheddar Gorge is a close one to me. In many ways, we can look at any society in the world and they've nearly all lived through this kind of life-style and environment. We were all farmers and hunters once upon a time.



posted on Oct, 16 2012 @ 02:38 PM
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reply to post by havok
 


Awsome
That place is now on my list of things to see on the east coast whenever I get over there.



posted on Oct, 16 2012 @ 03:53 PM
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"This is the only pic of my ugly butt..."

Awww, you are just adorable.

Never heard of that place. Thanks for expanding my consciousness today.


Star 'n a Flag fer dat!



posted on Oct, 16 2012 @ 04:04 PM
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Originally posted by havok
They grew some staple foods in a three pack called the Three Sisters garden.


I've heard of this before, but not by name. It is a really cool concept... The corn stalk serves as a pole for the beans to grow up on, and the Squash helps with soil retention and weed reduction. Of course, I'd prefer to find me some "non-Monsanto" corn, if it exists anymore...


Your link suggests to stagger the planting of these crops. From what I recall, some Native Americans dug a hole and planted one of each seed plus a fish skeleton. I forget what the fish was for... some nutrient or some such.

Info from your link:

The Three Sisters all work together. Critters will find it harder to invade your garden by interplanting your corn, beans and squash. The corn stalk serves as a pole for the beans, the beans help to add the nitrogen to the soil that the corn needs, and the squash provides a ground cover of shade that helps the soil retain moisture.


One last thought-- it's pretty well known that corn strips the soil of nitrogen, so how incredibly knowledgeable and responsible of these early Americans to be proactive and keep the soil in balance thru their farming methods, and in a NATURAL way! We modern folk think we are soooo advanced. Things like this make me think we took a step forward and two steps back (or maybe 10?)



posted on Oct, 16 2012 @ 07:49 PM
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reply to post by new_here
 


Yes, the tour guide talked about how the beans actually took nitrogen from the air and put it into the ground for the corn to thrive on. It is extremely interesting how these people didn't know the science behind it, but the benefits of the three being planted together.

Always learning something.






posted on Oct, 16 2012 @ 09:04 PM
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What a delightful tour you gave us! I would love to go someday -- haven't heard of the site before (no real surprise... there are so many.) And thanks for the pictures of the dig in progress!

Atl-atls are really neat. I was surprised to find that Native Americans got the bow fairly late (around 700 AD or so), relying on spears and atl-atls instead. They're awfully efficient weapons.



posted on Oct, 16 2012 @ 09:10 PM
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Nice thread!

(and nice t-shirt)



posted on Oct, 16 2012 @ 09:56 PM
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reply to post by Byrd
 


Yes the Atl-atl is an amazing tool that I am definitely going to try and learn how to master.
That place is filled with many other interesting sites and guides, it's just hard to cram it all in one thread. After visiting the 1700-1800's trading post, I realized I couldn't even describe it all on the 'net.
This place deserves its own book!



reply to post by Signals
 

That shirt is my favorite bar none.
You don't know how many people ask me who the "Rothschilds" are.
I just simply smile and say "Google it and prepare to learn something."






posted on Oct, 17 2012 @ 12:17 PM
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Thanks for the tour! S+F!

I had the chance to excavate at Meadowcroft two years ago through my university, but I had too much going on and had to pass it up. I do regret it, but what I regret more is never going there when I, too, live so close. I'll be sure to make it to Meadowcroft next summer, and am definitely going to Cherry Springs this winter. I go to Clarion University as an anthropology major. One of my professors is a native american archaeologist and knows the guys down at Meadowcroft really well.



posted on Oct, 17 2012 @ 12:28 PM
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reply to post by havok
 
Nicely done...I appreciate the tour.
S&F4U!



posted on Oct, 17 2012 @ 12:53 PM
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reply to post by Schmidt1989
 


Ahh yes I would've loved to excavate there as well.
Although I couldn't imagine doing all the mapping and paperwork involved.
What is it...1 hour of digging = 5 hours of data-entry?


I highly recommend visiting that place because it's just seriously cool.
Of all places to find artifacts, this one is the closest and more famous.
Now it gets my gears going to do some exploration of my own!
(There are tons of rock shelters in this area that I will enjoy exploring)








posted on Oct, 17 2012 @ 01:34 PM
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Compiled personal stories like this is half the reason I love ATS.

Nice documentation. Thanks for the unique content.



posted on Oct, 17 2012 @ 01:57 PM
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reply to post by havok
 


Thank you for posting this. I visited when I was in grade school for a field
trip. I have always thought of going back, and have no excuse as its only a few miles away, but just never did. Seeing your photos and reading your post has really made me add this to my Things to do list.



posted on Oct, 17 2012 @ 02:16 PM
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Originally posted by havok
Now it gets my gears going to do some exploration of my own!
(There are tons of rock shelters in this area that I will enjoy exploring)
Just don't go poking at stuff if you discover anything...context is everything and it's been a long haul to get the apparent age of Meadowcroft accepted.

Find anything...call the nearest university or government archaeologist, please, before any site is contaminated. But do have fun!





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