Eons ago, before there was a lake and dam that filled the valley, an ancient stream flowed through from the north. Now known as Rock Gap Run, it slowly cut through the rising sandstone bedrock that eventually became Evitts Mountain.
The continental erosion created Rocky Gap Gorge and produced numerous rock shelters above the stream. Over thousands of years the overhanging stone ledges were used as temporary shelters by Native American Indians.
[text with image of spear] This spear represents a timeline illustrating the deep history of Native Americans in this region.
Contact Period, 500 Years. The stone spear point represents the last 500 years, the Contact Period. That is when Euro-Americans first came into this area to trade with the Indians, up to the present day.
Woodland Period, 3,000 Years. The foreshaft of the spear represents the 3,000 years of the Woodland Period. The environment and climate were very much as they are today. During this time Indians developed agriculaure, growing corn, beans and squash. Ceramic pottery and the bow and arrow were introduced. The people began to live in villages.
Archaic Period, 6,000 Years. Move on back the main shaft of the spear and you are in the 6,000 year long Archaic Period. The climate was changing from cool and
dry to warm and wetter. Hardwood forests were replacing spruce forests and swamps were forming. The people, a hunting and gathering society, lived in small hamlets. The spearthrower was their main weapon for hunting. Nuts, berries and roots were foraged.
Paleo-Indian Period, 3,000 Years. Paleo-Indian Period was a 3,000 year occupation of small family groups, semi-nomadic, who focused on hunting both large and small game, as well as collecting wild plants for food. The environment was much like northern Canada is today, cool and humid. The massive continental glacier of the last Ice Age was retreating north out of Pennsylvania at this time. Mammoths, mastodons, elk, moose and caribou roamed the open terrain. The people are known for the high quality spear points they manufactured.
Pre-Clovis Period, ? Years. Little is known of the Pre-Clovis Period. There are several sites across North America that indicate Indian occupation was much older than 12,000 years ago, the time when archaeologists once believed Native Americans first entered from Asia. One such site is as close as the Pittsburgh region.