Archeological Investigation of Fort Allen Park


The highlight of this years Annual Meeting was a presentation by archeologist, Seth Van Dam of Indiana University of Pennsylvania. You may have seen Seth poking about on Fort Allen Park this past year, taping sections off and probing the earth.  Van Dam conducted a soil survey without excavating or disturbing the soil.  He used Ground Penetrating Radar (see image) and Electromagnetic Resistivity tests to "see" into the earth, detecting where soil has been disturbed.  The magnetism of soil varies with compaction, metallic components of the soil, and foreign objects where structures have been and where buried treasures may be. Above shows an image of the Ground Penetrating Radar of Fort Allen Park representing soil compaction and foreign objects.

Van Dam discovered intriguing areas of compaction about five feet down that represent where an old foundation used to lay and an old path leading to the bandstand that nobody actually knew about, predating the 1890 path that we have on record.  Most curious of all-there may be a grave site located next to the first path which Seth will monitor during the restoration process to ensure nothing is missed. Van Dam will continue to monitor areas around Fort Allen Park to ensure he does not miss anything. While there are no chests of silver or other artifacts of lore, Van Dam's research confirms that the Fort Allen Rehabilitation Plan reflects many aspects the park's original glory.