Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village will open its 2016 season Sunday.
Meadowcroft is the oldest site of human habitation in North America. Visitors can marvel at the rockshelter, a massive, rock overhang used by the region’s earliest inhabitants for shelter more than 16,000 years ago, and experience what everyday life was like for Upper Ohio Valley inhabitants over the past 400 years.
Visitors also can enjoy the new Trails to Trains exhibition, which explores the evolution of transportation in Southwestern Pennsylvania. The long-term exhibit features five vehicles from Meadowcroft’s collection, including an 1837 Conestoga Wagon and a 19th century Concord Stage Coach.
Here are other highlights for the 2016 season:
• Take a two-mile hike through the woods and fields surrounding the rockshelter June 11 and Oct. 8. Visitors will learn about the flora and fauna of the area as it relates to the survival techniques of prehistoric people struggling to survive in the tri-state area hundreds, and even thousands of years ago. To register, visit www.ventureoutdoors.org.
• Atlatl Competition, June 18 – Visitors can try their hand using the atlatl, a spear-thrower used by prehistoric hunters. This contest, sanctioned by the World Atlatl Association, is open to all ages and is free to enter with Meadowcroft admission.
• Independence Day Celebration, July 2-3 – Meadowcroft will celebrate the spirit of 19th century rural America with old-fashioned summer games, open hearth cooking demonstrations, and a pie-eating contest.
• Vintage Baseball Day, Aug. 13 – Watch a game between the Somerset Frosty Sons of Thunder and the Addison Mountain Stars, who will wear vintage-style uniforms and follow rules used during the 1860s.
• Visitors can enjoy insider tours of the rockshelter with James M. Adovasio, Ph.D. He will lead a special tour of the site on June 25, Aug. 27, Oct. 2 and Nov. 5. For reservations, call contact Frances Skariot at 724-587-3412 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
• American Indian Heritage Weekend, Sept. 24-25 – Visitors exploring a recreated Indian Village will encounter costumed re-enactors as they demonstrate skills of everyday American Indian life.
Throughout May, Meadowcroft is open Saturdays, noon to 5 p.m. and Sundays, 1-5 p.m. From Memorial Day through Labor Day, Meadowcroft is open Wednesday through Saturday, noon to 5 p.m., and on Sundays from 1-5 p.m. Admission is $14 for adults, $13 for senior citizens, and $6 for children ages 6-17. Children 6 and younger and History Center members get in free.
For more information, visit www.heinzhistorycenter.org and click on the Meadowcroft tab or call 724-587-3412.