Mackey Run Bridge

Cultural Resource Management

Linden Hall, Centre County, PA

The replacement of a small bridge over Mackey Run in the village of Linden Hall, Centre County by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, District 2-0, will affect an area of roughly an acre, primarily through the planned relocation of the stream. HAI conducted archaeological studies that identified a prehistoric archaeological site extending throughout the area of project effects. Intensive field testing examined two concentrations of artifacts and archaeological features dated to the Middle and Late Archaic periods, around 4000 and 3000 BC. In consultation with PennDOT and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum, HAI recommended that further excavation was unnecessary but that detailed laboratory analysis of the artifacts and comparative studies of museum collections from nearby sites would address project effects to the site.

The deposits at the Mackey Run site reflect the use of nearby chert quarries for material to make stone tools. Small task groups obtained high-quality black chert from the quarries and carried it just over half a mile to the site on the banks of Mackey Run where they worked the stone to create tools for immediate use and blanks for future tool making. By careful studies of the stone tools, especially the wear patterns that indicate how they were used, HAI provided new insights into the use of an important local resource. The creative use of museum collections and analytical techniques allowed PennDOT to meet its cultural protection obligations in a timely and cost-effective way.

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