Within GCHS’s collection, we are honored to preserve some of Pennsylvania’s richest Native American history. The most artifacts GCHS keeps in its collection pertaining to Native American history were created between the years of 1000 BC and 1000 AD- or what is commonly known to historians as the “Woodland Period.” During the Woodland Period, many cultures including the Adena culture from the Ohio valley started to develop. Prominent historical sites such as the Grave Creek Burial Mound in West Virginia as well as the mound sites near Crow Farm are a few examples of this culture. In the middle of the Woodland Period, the "Hopewell Culture" develops, and a mass network of interactions and the exchanging traditions and ideas between various Native American tribes becomes established. This network is commonly referred to as the “Hopewell Interaction Sphere”. The Hopewell Culture started to decline around 400 AD and this is where we finally see the "Monongahela Culture" slowly start to arise.
The Monongahela’s primary place of occupation and agriculture was in the Monongahela River County. They were true agriculturists, constantly learning how to produce the best crops within settlements that would sometimes include as many as 100 families. The collapse of the Hopewell culture left its influence on hundreds of sites within Greene County, making way for some very important archeological studies to be conducted in the late 19th to early 20th century. The late Monongahela culture began to decline around 1600 AD as European contact became more prevalent. A lot of Monongahela artifacts such as stone pipes, copper materials, various arrowheads and clay pottery are shaped by this minor European influence.
GCHS houses hundreds of artifacts pertaining to local Native American history and the pictures down below show a very small portion of this collection. Please come out to see these artifacts and many others!
Excavated by Frank B. Jones WPA archeological digs, mainly from Spraggs site. Many of these copper items are speculated to have been used for decorative and ceremonial usage. Early 1600’s, Dutch inspired copper.
Iroquois tribe inspired bone combs, late Monongahela time period.
Excavated from the Bruckner site. Serves decorative and storage purpose. Created in the late Monongahela time period.
A collection of stone pipes from the late Monongahela time period.
A stone pipe with a rare face engraving. Believed to be from the late Monongahela time period.