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Abstract

This guidebook chapter outlines a walking tour that provides an introduction to the geological, archaeological, and historical setting of Pittsburgh, with an emphasis on the use of local and imported geologic materials and resources in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The focus is on downtown Pittsburgh, the low-lying triangle of land where the Monongahela and Allegheny Rivers join to form the Ohio River, and Coal Hill (Mount Washington), the escarpment along the Monongahela River to its south. Topics include the importance of—and concomitant effect of—historic coal use; use of local and imported geologic materials, including dimension stone used for buildings and gravestones, and chert used for gunflints and millstones; the frontier forts built at the site; and the ubiquitous landslides along Coal Hill.

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