Explore East Coast U.S. Archaeology

The heat of summer is leaving, and the cool days of fall are settling in on the East Coast. Take this time to go explore the little known archaeological sites the U.S. has to offer. Archaeology is more than the grand ruins of Europe and hidden temples in Central America. You can visit 16,000 years of history on the East Coast. Here are five archaeological sites to visit.

Annapolis, Maryland

By Martin Falbisoner (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
By Martin Falbisoner (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Annapolis, Maryland is full of history. It is the capital of the state of Maryland and home to the Untied States Navy Academy. Archaeology in Annapolis(AIA) a joint project of the University of Maryland and Historic Annapolis, started in 1981 it offers a unique public archaeology experience. Downtown Annapolis is famous for its colonial architecture and residents who helped shape the United States. The AIA project focuses on those who are not present in history — through their material culture. This includes African-American slaves, women, and other marginalized peoples.

Historic Annapolis offers self-guided walking tours that explore the full history and material culture of colonial Annapolis. There is also a beautiful waterfront, and plenty of bars and restaurants. offers self-guided walking tours that explore the full history and material culture of colonial Annapolis. There is also a beautiful waterfront, and plenty of bars and restaurants.

Etowah, Georgia

Mound B at the archaeological site Etowah Indian Mounds                              By Kåre Thor Olsen (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC BY-SA 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons
Mound B at the archaeological site Etowah Indian Mounds By Kåre Thor Olsen (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC BY-SA 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons

Etowah Mounds State Park, in Northwestern Georgia is the best preserved Mississippian Mound center in the Southeast. The Mississippian Culture dominated most of the Eastern half of the United States from the 11th to 16th centuries A.D. Etowah is a great introduction for those not familiar with this important period in American history. Six earthen mounds are still visible and a museum houses artifacts found at the site.

Jamestown, Virginia

Archaeological dig at Historic Jamestowne By Sarah Stierch [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Archaeological dig at Historic Jamestowne By Sarah Stierch [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Jamestown founded in 1607, the first permanent English settlement in North America. The Jamestown Rediscovery Project continues to excavate at the site and make exciting discoveries. The archaeology museum on site called the Archaearium displays more than 4,000 artifacts. Beautiful setting on the East Coast, amazing history, active archaeology, state of the art museum — What more could you ask for?

Meadowcroft Rockshelter, Pennsylvania

"Meadowcroft Rockshelter" Leepaxton at English Wikipedia [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
“Meadowcroft Rockshelter” Leepaxton at English Wikipedia [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 4.0–3.0–2.5–2.0–1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Explore one of the most important sites in the pre-history of North America. Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village located in Western Pennsylvania is the only site on this list where you can experience all 16,000 years of history in one place. In 1973 discovery of artifacts that pre-dated the Clovis culture made the site famous. The site now a museum that incorporates prehistory, a contact period Native American village, and historical exhibits.

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