The Northeast is an area with a rich history, as our shores were the first ones settlers landed on during the colonial days of our country. But the history of this region stretches back much further to the thousands of Native American groups that occupied this continent before Europeans arrived. Allentown’s Museum of Indian Culture celebrates these cultures, with a focus on archaeological artifacts discovered in this region. Our Allentown adoption agents recommend checking out this museum for the following exhibits:
The Great Native American Toolkit
This impressive exhibit showcases prehistoric stone tools and pottery used by a variety of ancient Native American cultures, including:
- Mississippian (Mound Builder) cultures
- Northeastern Woodland Lenape/Delaware/Iroquois
- Anasazi/Pueblo of the Southwest
- Alaskan Native Americans
The exhibit tells the story of how ancient Native American cultures developed tools using local resources and how they used these tools to help their societies flourish. One notable highlight was the fishing tools carved by Alaskan Natives.
Treading Lightly Around Prehistoric Digs: 1980s Interstate-78 Southern Corridor Project – Upper Saucon
Before the Interstate-78 southern corridor and Route 309 alignment project began, PennDOT contacted a local cultural resource firm to conduct an excavation for evidence of archaeological sites in the path of the interstate. Nearly 6,700 prehistoric artifacts were discovered in this 31-mile section of land in southeast Pennsylvania, spanning from Paleo-Indian times (12,000 B.C.) until the end of the late Woodland period (1,500 A.D.). These artifacts were given to the Pennsylvania State Historical and Museum Commission in Harrisburg.
A survey site called P-42 in Upper Saucon was initially discovered by local archaeologist Rober Kufrovich in the 1970s when heavy rains from Tropical Storm Agnes brought stone artifacts and shards of pottery to the surface. These artifacts and shards were from an ancient Lenape settlement estimated to have been active between 8,000 B.C. and 1,500 A.D. Artifacts discovered at this site included:
- Game Balls
- Stone Points
- Pottery Shards
These artifacts were also reported to the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. They show how the ancient Lenape people lived before North America was colonized.
Mystery Unearthed: The Extraordinary Story of Two Lenape Rock Shelters
This exhibit is a life-size replica of a site discovered near Broomall, Pennsylvania in 1942. That year, two amateur archaeologists found two rock shelters, including one with a skeleton and thousands of ancient Native American artifacts. The exhibit on these shelters offers insight into how Lenape families may have used them for many centuries.
Other highlights from this exhibit include a portion of the hundreds of items found at the site, including:
- 200 stone and bone tools
- Over 1,000 decorated ceramics fragments
- European trade goods