Society for American Archaeology to Honor JCHC Executive Director Kenneth Burkett

The Society for American Archaeology (SAA) presents the Crabtree Award annually to an outstanding avocational archaeologist. Nominees should have made significant contributions to advance understandings of local, regional, or national archaeology through excavation, research, publication, site or collections reservation, collaboration with the professional community, and/or public outreach.

JCHC Executive Director Kenneth Burkett is being honored with the 2022 Crabtree Award by the SAA at its Annual Meeting & Awards Ceremony on April 1, 2022 in Chicago. Recognized for his outstanding service to PA Archaeology, Mr. Burkett is a Carnegie Museum of Natural History Field Associate and Society of Pennsylvania Archaeology member since 1983.

Mr. Burkett was bit with the archaeological bug at age 12 upon finding his first arrowhead. He volunteered in the ‘70s with several important local and regional site excavations. In 1975 at age 23, he made a sensational excavation of a Native American burial with artifacts in Elk County, dating to 1330 A.D., now housed at Carnegie. From 1976-1996, he excavated the significant Fishbasket complex of six Late Woodland Villages, founding a new cultural group in western PA.  He received the 1983 SPA Archey Award for his outstanding contributions and furtherance of archaeology. He later helped to start SPA North Fork Chapter 29, and is northwest PA’s petroglyph expert for his work on the Parker’s Landing site along the Allegheny River in Clarion County. He has authored an exceptional number of publications and book chapters, and co-authored the award-winning Scripture Rocks book. He currently leads SPA’s efforts to include archaeology sites in the State Historical Marker Program.

Mr. Burkett led the JCHS (Scripture Rocks) Heritage Park project in 2012, opened in 2016 as a hiking park and historic cultural and natural education resource.  He directed SPA North Fork Chapter 29’s excavation of a Native American rockshelter within this award-winning park, which has garnered 8 state and national museum awards. Mr. Burkett serves our community as current Executive Director of JCHS since 2008, is a PA Great Outdoors Visitors’ Bureau Board member, North Fork Chapter 29 past Board President and current Treasurer, and SPA former President/1st Vice President and current Treasurer, past Lumber Heritage Region Board, and past Treasurer of Brookville Area Chamber of Commerce.