Between 2017 and 2021, research conducted at the South Mountain metarhyolite quarries on and near the Michaux State Forest has resulted in a variety of notable accomplishments including the modeling of the landscape, field inventory and assessment of some quarries, and the elements of a resource protection and interpretation plan for the sites. The partnership’s primary research priorities at this time include:
• The refinement of geochemical methodologies for sourcing metarhyolite that are sensitive enough to reconstruct specific Pre-Contact use of individual quarry complexes in time and space.
• Refinement and revision of the original predictive model for rhyolite quarry loci. The new model should be presented/published for peer review, and provisions should be made for additional field testing.
• Conducting and reporting/publication of student contributions to on-going projects at Green Cabin, Iron Springs, Toms Creek, and related sites.
• Data from replicative experimentation with a variety of metarhyolite types/sources, including comparison with archaeological samples and publication/presentation.
• Recordation of newly discovered quarry loci in the PA SHARE and DCNR databases.
• Additional outreach to the public, to DCNR staff, and the descendent community to assist in the protection and interpretation of the quarry complex. Video, print, public presentations, signage, and digital approaches are all welcome possibilities.
• Further development of best management practices for the preservation and protection of quarries and processing sites on public lands that address the effects of timbering, infrastructure maintenance and construction (roads, bridges, trails), and visitor impacts including unauthorized excavation.
Proposed projects should address at least one of these priorities, and multidisciplinary and inter-university partnerships are encouraged.
This project is eligible for grants through South Mountain Partnership or other sources.Problem-Statement-Rhyolite.pdf