IUP Archaeologists Will Map Early Indian Settlements to Aid PennDOT
Reeger, Jennifer, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Beverly Chiarulli views a project being undertaken by Indiana University of Pennsylvania as a blending of the past with the future.
As director of IUP's Archaeological Services, she's spearheading a $354,000 project to develop a model of American Indian archaeological sites throughout Pennsylvania to aid PennDOT in deciding where to build roads.
"We'll not only protect these sites from that kind of road development and impact, but we can at the same time continue to understand a lot about what these pre-European cultures were like."
IUP's Archaeological Services, a research center that consults with governments on archaeological matters, will collaborate on the project with two firms: Skelly and Loy Inc., based in Harrisburg, and John Milner Associates Inc., of West Chester.
The project is funded through the Pennsylvania Transportation Enhancement program, part of federal transportation legislation.
"It includes funding that's not just immediate project related," Chiarulli said. "Many of the bike trails that have been built in Indiana County and elsewhere in Pennsylvania have been funded by this kind of money."
One of the 12 categories eligible for the federal money is archaeological planning and research, said Steve Chizmar, a PennDOT spokesman.
Federal transportation projects must comply with certain environmental and archaeological policies.
"Traditionally, this is accomplished on a project-by-project basis, and could involve a traditional archaeological dig," Chizmar said. "Obviously, this is a very expensive and time-consuming process. The IUP project is to develop a predictive model that will guide when/where expensive archaeological work will be required, or used in highway planning to avoid placing a road in an area of known archaeological significance."
To do this, IUP and its partners will each focus on one of three watersheds in Pennsylvania during the three-year project. …