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Public invited to archaeological dig in Allegheny National Forest

| Saturday, June 28, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

History lovers dying for a peek deep into the region's prehistoric past can head north on Tuesday to the Allegheny National Forest where a Clarion University professor is holding an open house at an archaeological dig that has unearthed evidence of a settlement dating back 1,000 to 3,000 years.

Susan Prezzano, an anthropology professor at Clarion, who is overseeing the dig in conjunction with the Allegheny National Forest, said her students, who have been working at the site for four weeks, have found native American artifacts, including pottery sherds and hammer stones, used in making spear points, as well as fire-cracked rocks that would have been used around a hearth.

The Allegheny National Forest acquired the site, known as the King Farm in the late 1980s. Prezzano said a family farm had been there dating to the 1800s.

The tract provided the Allegheny National Forest with land adjacent to the Allegheny River.

It provided a challenge for Prezzano and her students after a brief survey indicated there was an archeological site there.

During the open house, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., members of the public will be able to observe a scientific, archaeological excavation and learn about the people who have lived at and used the King Farm area throughout history and prehistory.

The King Farm site is in Forest County, near the Allegheny River. From West Hickory, take Dawson Run Road (paved) south 1.9 miles through private property. After the Allegheny National Forest motor vehicle sign (a large white sign with black text), watch for the first gate on the left.

Prezzano said poison ivy is prevalent in the area and said long pants and boots or closed shoes are a must for the 200-yard hike to the site.

Debra Erdley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.

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