Friday, January 3, 2014

2014 Pennsylvania Farm Show

The New Year is upon us, and with it is the return of the Pennsylvania Farm Show. The 98th annual PA Farm Show begins at 9 A.M. this Saturday the 4th and runs through 5 P.M. the following Saturday, the 11th. The State Museum of PA’s display will be set up in the Family Living section, located in the main exhibition hall of the Farm Show Agricultural Complex.

setting up for this year's Farm Show

Our exhibit for this year’s Farm Show, a cooperative endeavor by the Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology, Inc. (SPA), the Pennsylvania Archaeological Council (PAC), and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC), is an extension of the topic discussed at the Workshops in Archaeology program held at the State Museum of PA back in November entitled, “The Archaeology of a Troubled Nation 1776-1876”. This period covers the Revolutionary War; the War of 1812 and the final break with Great Britain; economic growth and the industrial revolution; and the anti-slavery movement and the Civil War.

Pennsylvania played a significant role in all of these events. At the dawn of the American Revolution, Pennsylvania was the third largest colony. It contributed abundant supplies and labor to the war with Great Britain. After the Revolution, it continued to contribute to the growing nation in the form of farming and industry. With its vast natural resources such as coal, lumber and iron, it made a significant contribution to the industrial revolution.  Pennsylvania was also at the center of economic and social change during the mid 1800’s. Along with its anti-slavery stand, it made a significant contribution in the form of men and supplies to the Civil War.

Archaeological investigations conducted at many historic sites from this period provide us with unbiased documentation of these important historical events. They presented us with the personal effects of those who served our country, their sacrifices and, ultimately, archaeology contributes to a better understanding of this turbulent time in American history. Large text panels illustrate important aspects of each of these periods of conflict and corresponding artifact displays will help to engage on lookers with their heritage.

A series of informational brochures produced by the Section of Archaeology covering a wide range of interests are complimentary, as well as copies of Pennsylvania Heritage and American Archaeology magazines courtesy of our friends at the PA Heritage Foundation and the Archaeological Conservancy respectively. Membership forms for the Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology will also be on hand. 

Still more offerings include passes to the State Museum of PA’s planetarium, the current Archaeology Month Poster highlighting the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, and rub-on “tattoos” featuring the Section of Archaeology’s logo, which is, if you ever wondered, a stylized version of a human face effigy sometimes found adorning the rim of Susquehannock pottery of the Washington Boro Phase (c. 1600-1625 A.D.).

a look back at last year's Farm Show exhibit

And of course, no trip to the Farm Show would be complete without a photo-op in the ever popular replica wooden dugout canoe, with or without milkshake. Guys, gals, young and old, even the occasional dog love the dugout canoe!

So brave the winter weather and make your way to the 98th annual Pennsylvania Farm Show. We hope to see you there!

For more information, visit or the Hall of Anthropology and Archaeology at The State Museum of Pennsylvania .

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