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The Archeology of Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania
Wyoming County Historical Society Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania

Project Overview:Tunkhannock
The primary goal of the exhibit was to educate the general public as to the role and practice of public archeology by displaying and interpreting archeological resources uncovered during local salvage archeology activities. Traub Design Associates* developed several design strategies that successfully accomplished that goal. The gallery's entrance wall displayed the "Tools of the Archeologist" which included a variety of scientific maps, photographs, historical resources and some of the actual hand tools used during the excavation process.



The two sites, one a prehistoric (1000 AD) hamlet with a single extended family-size structure and adjacent work areas, the other a historic leather tanning building complex, required distinct spaces within the small room. The recovered resources from the prehistoric site, stone tools, potsherds and plant remains, were very informative for the archeologists, but the general public would need much more interpretation in order to understand the role and significance of the site. Working closely with the archeologist, we created a colorful and accurate mural of the site as it would have appeared when the prehistoric Native Americans lived and worked there. Artifacts were displayed and interpreted in wall-mounted acrylic cases, and a full-size diorama recreating a key archeological feature was installed below the mural.



In order to define the spaces for each exhibit, the tannery exhibit was framed in simple post and beam construction of stained new wood that simulated the framing technique used in the original factory construction. The few historic photographs that were located were digitized and enlarged to create photomurals of the tannery. A cover illustration from an 1890 Scientific American that documented the leather tanning process used at the tannery was digitized and a series of large graphics and quotes from the accompanying article served as label text. When possible the archeologist also provided a narrative account which was coordinated with the historic illustrations and excavation photographs. Several of the best preserved wood and metal artifacts were installed in acrylic wall cases and in a large open display space accompanied by photographs taken of the objects during the recovery process.


Project Date: 1999 - 2000
Exhibition Size: 500 sq .ft.
Design Team:
  • Don Traub: Project Manager, Chief Designer, Fabrication & Installation
  • Dan Bridy: Artist & Exhibit Design
  • Nicholas Traub: Exhibit & Graphic Design, Fabrication & Installation
  • Susan Pollard: Fabrication & Mount Maker
Special Note:
  • First exhibition presented by The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation
Services Rendered:
  • Project Management
  • Exhibit Research
  • Exhibit Design, Fabrication & Installation
  • Exhibit Production Schedule
  • Budget
  • Narrative
  • Design drawings
  • Collections Workbook
  • Graphics Workbook
  • Lighting Plan
  • Maintenance Manual
*Formerly known as Don Traub Exhibit Design