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  • Archaeological Journals in Pennsylvania and the Middle Atlantic Region: A Review
  • Paul A. Raber

Keeping up with the constantly growing volume of original archeological data and interpretation is a perennial problem for scholars in Pennsylvania and the mid-Atlantic region, as it is worldwide. The need is only partially met by attending state and regional archaeological conferences, like the annual meetings of the Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology (SPA), the Eastern States Archaeological Conference (ESAF), and the Middle Atlantic Archaeological Conference (MAAC). The expansion of publicly funded, so-called cultural resource management (CRM) archaeological investigations over the past thirty-five years has only exacerbated the problem. While all such studies produce detailed technical reports, they are inaccessible to the general public. Fortunately, in recent years the results of CRM studies are being published as articles in publications such as River Chronicles, one of several journals, alongside more traditional (academic, museum-based, and avocational) archaeological studies. Detailed reporting and interpretation of a wide range of current archaeological research are provided by a mix of long-established and newer journals. The following is a brief review of the chief regional journals and their roles in the dissemination of current archaeological knowledge. I have intentionally passed over the major North American, international, and theoretical journals like American Antiquity, Historical Archaeology, Journal of Anthropological Archaeology, and Journal of Archaeological Science, which deal with broader issues or themes but only occasionally focus on sites or issues in Pennsylvania or the surrounding region. [End Page 271]

Pennsylvania Archaeologist, a publication of the SPA, has a long and distinguished history of publication, 2017 marking the 86th year of the journal. Currently edited by Roger Moeller and published twice a year in the spring and fall, Pennsylvania Archaeologist presents a broad spectrum of recent work by professional and avocational archaeologists in Pennsylvania and surrounding states, including detailed reports on specific sites as well as broader regional or thematic syntheses. Recent issues include a summary of the Late Woodland Period (ca. AD 400–900) in western Pennsylvania, an overview of Early Woodland period mounds in southwestern Pennsylvania and adjacent areas of West Virginia, new radiocarbon dates from the well-known (Early Woodland period) Cresap Mound in West Virginia, and reports on investigations at an historic glassworks in Harrisburg, a nineteenth-century hotel site in Huntingdon County, the Late Woodland period deposits at the Edinburg site in Lawrence County, and post-contact Lenape features at the Montgomery site in Chester County. Although earlier volumes included book reviews, these have been discontinued in recent years. Pennsylvania Archaeologist remains the standard source for archaeology in the Commonwealth and is notable for its inclusiveness and continued recognition of the significance of both professional and avocational studies. Since its beginnings in the 1930s the journal has maintained high standards that have attracted contributions from a long list of major figures in the archaeology or Pennsylvania and the Middle Atlantic region. Subscriptions are through membership in the SPA and information can be found at

Archaeology of Eastern North America (AENA) has played a similar role for the eastern United States and Canada since its first issue in 1973. Published annually by ESAF and currently edited by Arthur Spiess of the Maine Historical Commission, the journal includes articles on site-specific investigations and broader regional and thematic studies by professional and avocational archaeologists. Although not exclusive, the journal’s focus is primarily on precontact Native American archaeology. Recent articles have addressed a shell midden site in South Carolina, an early seventeenth-century Susquehannock site near Harrisburg, a Delmarva Adena site in Delaware, Late Woodland period stone tool technology in southern Ontario, and a Jacks Reef horizon site in southwest Ohio. Past issues have also included treatments of a single theme; most recently a 2015 collection of articles on the Jacks Reef horizon, a pan-regional Middle/Late Woodland period phenomenon. The broad geographic reach and varied topics make AENA an essential [End Page 272] source for recent archaeology in Pennsylvania and eastern North America. Information on subscriptions (through ESAF membership) and back issues is available at

The Journal of Middle Atlantic Archaeology, the annual publication...


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