Powell 2


Powell 2 (36 So 12) was excavated from March 24 to April 12, 1938, shortly after the work at Powell 1 and probably involving the same crew. Powell 2 consisted of an irregular oval palisade enclosing a single row of 20 dwellings that encircled a fairly large plaza. Four dwellings had one attached post-enclosed feature each, whereas one dwelling had three attached post-enclosed features. One free-standing post enclosed feature was near a hearth, suggesting that it was once attached to a dwelling whose outline was later obliterated. No graves were encountered at Powell 2.

Approximately 150 people resided in this village of unknown age. Naturally-occurring trees were apparently incorporated into the palisade line, which may have accounted for the irregular shape of the palisade enclosure. Dwellings formed six clusters that ranged in number of residences from 15 to 35 people. The size of each dwelling cluster at Powell 2 suggested that they minimally represented extended families but also could have represented lineage segments, clans, or some other similar social group.

A pile of rocks that are sharp and angular in a pit
A feature at Powell 2
(Courtesy of The State Museum of Pennsylvania)

Site Map

Powell 2 site map illustrating a round village pattern with many buildings along the pallisade wall.
Site map of Powell 2 produced by Edgar Augustine in 1942.


Augustine, Edgar

1938 Important Research on Peck and Martz Rock Shelter Site in Somerset County. Pennsylvania Archaeologist 8 (4):83-88.

Hart, John P.

1993 Monongahela Subsistence-Settlement Change: The Late Prehistoric Period in the Lower Upper Ohio Valley. Journal of World Prehistory 7:71-120.

Means, Bernard K.

1998 Archaeological Past and Present: Field Methodology from 1930s Relief Excavations in Somerset County, Pennsylvania and its Relevance to Modern Archaeological Interpretations. Journal of Middle Atlantic Archaeology 14:39-63. Available online.

1999 Monongahela Mortuary Practices in Somerset County, Pennsylvania: Observations and Implications. Pennsylvania Archaeologist 69 (2):15-44.

2002 Revisiting Mary Butler's "Three Archaeological Sites in Somerset County, Pennsylvania" for Continuing Insights into Depression-era Archaeology in Southwestern Pennsylvania and Late Prehistoric Monongahela Social Organization. Pennsylvania Archaeologist 72 (2): 8-46.

2003 Deliver Me From Mononga-Hell: Thinking Beyond the Culture History Paradigm to Examine the Temporal and Spatial Parameters of Somerset Monongahela Village Settlements. Journal of Middle Atlantic Archaeology 19:37-58.

2006 Circular Reasoning: Drawing on Models of Ring-shaped Village Spatial Layouts To Examine Villages in Late Prehistoric Pennsylvania. Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, Department of Anthropology, Arizona State University, Tempe. University Microfilms, Ann Arbor.

2007 Circular Villages of the Monongahela Tradition. The University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa.