Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Beverly Chiarulli, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Benjamin Ford, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Sarah Neusius, Ph.D.


The study identified 60 previously recorded sites in Washington County, Pennsylvania that were affected or threatened by natural gas drilling activities undertaken from 2000 to 2010. These sites contained at least 87 components spanning the Paleoindian period through the early 20th century. Analysis of site attributes indicated that upland prehistoric sites were more likely to be affected by drilling. Moreover, Marcellus well development appears to present a greater threat to archaeological resources than conventional drilling, and the pace of development since 2006 has impacted or threatened considerably more sites. It is estimated that 100 unrecorded archaeological sites were impacted as well. Overall, the effects of drilling activities on archaeological sites are similar in scale to more strictly regulated federal and state undertakings. Changes to the permit review process as well as increased funding to the Bureau for Historic Preservation are necessary to prevent further destruction of Pennsylvania's archaeological heritage.