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Archaeotrek—Alternate Perceptions Magazine, February 2015

Buckaloons, Pennsylvania Burial Mounds & Seneca Village

by: Dr. Greg Little

Located 90 miles south of Buffalo, NY in Buckaloons Campground, east of Irvine, PA off U.S. Hwy. 62 in the Allegheny National Forest. From The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Native American Mounds & Earthworks.

Buckaloons was described in the Bureau of Ethnology’s 1894 Annual Report, but Cyrus Thomas mistakenly referred to it as Ruckaloon. The site is considered to have one of the greatest concentrations of arrowheads, pottery, and other artifacts found anywhere in the northeastern U.S. Tens of thousands of artifacts have been found in surface collections at the site. It is centered on a 9-acre Seneca village area surrounded by an earthen embankment that is about 3-feet high. Embedded into the embankment were wooden palisades creating a walled fortress. There were several burial mounds inside the village area, most of which were excavated. Several of them had elaborate stone tombs in their base. The site, located near the Allegheny River, was inhabited as long ago as 12,000 years and is part of a much larger, 150-acre area encompassing over 20 different archaeological sites. Buckaloons became a Hopewell site, a Seneca village, and then historic trading posts were located there until it was burned during the Revolutionary War. Buckaloons was the Huron word for the site but its meaning isn’t completely clear. The term may mean “broken grass” or “broken straw.”


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