Sunday, June 7, 2009


Hi everyone! Welcome to Archaeology Dude's blog! Let me tell you a little about myself, and why I created this blog in the first place. My name is Marc Henshaw, I've been an archaeologist for little over 12 years in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, Virginia, North and South Dakota, and Michigan. Throughout my travels, I've meet many great people who share a passion for learning about the past, whether it's their own, or someone else's. Many people have approached me in awe and wonderment of what an archaeologist actually does in his or her day-to-day work. The painstaking detail, the patience to carefully brush away the soil of time from around a delicate 1,000 year old piece of pottery, and the ability to research at length the history of an area to recount its vibrant past. I created this blog for those of you who haven't been able to live their dream of being an archaeologist, and for those who want to understand an appreciate the feats that go into saving our past from the bulldozer, the highway, or the housing development. Many of us come from towns whose cores have been gutted by de-industrialization and loss of industry. Archaeology can help unravel the twisted path that our towns have taken, and may offer a glimpse of the future to preserve our heritage through tourism and heritage management.

My background is in prehistoric and historic archaeology. I completed my undergraduate degree in 1998 from California University of Pennsylvania, and worked as a field archaeologist for the Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission before heading into the field as a contract archaeologist. I received my Master's degree in 2004 from Western Michigan University where I researched the steamboat industry in Brownsville, Pennsylvania. (I'll save that for a future blog post). I worked in the archaeology in Williamsburg, Virginia for a year before teaching high school Earth and Space Science to 9th graders in Newport News for two years. I currently completed my coursework for my PhD in Industrial Archaeology at Michigan Tech. University, and have my own cultural resource management firm, Nemacolin Archaeological Services, located in my hometown of Brownsville, PA.

The first video I have posted is a welcome video and an introduction to a beautiful state park of southwestern Pennsylvania called Ohiopyle. Located between the Chestnut and Laural Ridges of the Appalachian Mountains, Ohiopyle gets its name from the American Indian word "ohioehhla" or "white frothy water". An appropriate term for the many rapids of the Youghiogheny River. Archaeologically, the Ohiopyle region offers a history that extends thousands of years into the past, and a historic period extending from the 1750's to industrial era with paper mills and logging camps lining the river.

If you read this far, I hope you've enjoyed it. Watch the video, its the first of many to come. If you are a teacher, many episodes to come will focus on field methodology archaeologists employ, local southwestern Pennsylvania history as I explore the many towns and sites in the area. I hope to post a blog once a week, maybe more often and video as well. Take care everyone!

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