Oldest Human Hangout In North America

Field review by the editors.

Avella, Pennsylvania

Since a groundhog unearthed an ancient tool in 1955, people have been arguing about just how long people have lingered beneath this rock overhang south of Pittsburgh. Some say 16,000 years, some say 19,000, some say a lot less -- but the higher numbers would make this the oldest human habitation in America, and that has brought a lot of attention and, lately, a lot of money.

In 2008, the Meadowcroft Rockshelter opened a multi-million dollar pavilion over the excavations. Now the Paleo-Indians' fire pits are far better protected than the Paleo-Indians ever were, and you can imagine yourself as a cave-person in flat, dry, dirt-free comfort.

Oldest Human Hangout In North America

Meadowcroft Rockshelter

Address:
401 Meadowcroft Rd, Avella, PA
Directions:
Meadowcroft Rockshelter. From Hwy 50 in Avella, continue north on Avella Rd, paralleling the train tracks. Turn left when the street ends onto Browntown Rd/Route 4018. Drive for 2.5 miles, following the signs for Meadowcroft Rd, until you come to the Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Museum of Rural Life.
Hours:
W-Sa 12-5, Su 1-5; less hours off-season; closed Nov-Apr. (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
Phone:
724-587-3412
Admission:
Adults $15, 6-17 $7
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Nearby Offbeat Places

Firehouse Farmer and CalfFirehouse Farmer and Calf, Hickory, PA - 9 mi.
Ohio Valley Steelworker StatueOhio Valley Steelworker Statue, Steubenville, OH - 8 mi.
Steam Laundry MuralSteam Laundry Mural, Steubenville, OH - 8 mi.
In the region:
Perry Como, Bobby Vinton at McDonald's, Canonsburg, PA - 17 mi.

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