Meadowcroft Rockshelter is an archaeological site located near Avella in Jefferson Township, Washington County, in southwestern Pennsylvania, United States. The site, a rock shelter in a bluff overlooking Cross Creek (a tributary of the Ohio River), is located 27 miles west-southwest of Pittsburgh, in the Pittsburgh metropolitan area. The site, including a museum and re-creation of a circa 1570s Monongahela Culture Indian village, operates as a division of the Heinz History Center. The artifacts from the site show the area may have been continually inhabited for over 19,000 years, since Paleo-Indian times.
The remarkably complete archaeological site shows earliest known evidence of human presence and longest sequence of continuous human occupation in the New World.
Radiocarbon dating of the site indicated occupancy beginning 16,000 years ago and possibly as early as 19,000 years ago. These dates could indicate that Meadowcroft was used in the pre-Clovis era and, as such, provides evidence for very early human habitation of the Americas, and may make Meadowcroft Rockshelter the oldest known site of human habitation in North America, providing a unique glimpse into the lives of prehistoric hunters and gatherers. Woodland, Archaic, and Paleoindian remains have been found at the site.