Abstracts of Presentations at the 2010 OAC Fall Membership Meeting
The Reese Center, The Ohio State University-Newark
6 November 2010

(pdf format)


William E. Kennedy and Jill Krieg

Dayton Society of Natural History

Experimental Reconstruction of Fort Ancient Architecture at SunWatch Indian Village/Archaeological Park

Architectural reconstruction at SunWatch Indian Village/Archaeological Park has been conducted for nearly three decades, primarily in the forms of permanent structures, stockades, and other large features.  These reconstructions serve as interactive educational displays, but also as an experimental laboratory.  The use of primarily natural local materials has yielded an unparalleled body of knowledge that has both enhanced and skewed our collective understanding of Fort Ancient architecture and ecology.  In this paper, we will present anecdotal and experimental data, explain lessons learned, describe ongoing experiments, and challenge some common assumptions about prehistoric architecture.


Suzanne Sanders, Joshua Roth, Nathan Workman, and Jennifer Evans

R. Christopher Goodwin & Associates, Inc.

Good Middling Farmers: Archeological Investigations of the Nineteenth Century Clayton/Huston Farmstead, Richland Township, Fayette County

Archeological and archival investigations were conducted for the Clayton/Huston farmstead in 2007 and 2009. Initially identified in 2007, the farmstead site (33FA1740) included three separate loci that reflected agricultural uses as well as two separate occupation periods in the nineteenth century. Archeological data recovery was conducted in 2009.  Archival investigations indicated that domestic occupation and agricultural activity began in the early nineteenth century, at least by 1830, with the residence of the Clayton family on the property.  Subsequently, William Huston occupied Locus 3, followed by his son Alexander until Alexander constructed and relocated to the extant Baker farmhouse adjacent to the site.  Documentation indicates that William Huston and his wife Sarah Forsythe Huston then occupied the dwelling at Locus 1, followed by a series of tenants.  The dwelling at Locus 3 potentially was abandoned by the late nineteenth century.  The dwelling at Locus 1 was demolished ca. 1960.

Archeological investigations consisted of the excavation of 25 excavation blocks totaling 210 m2 (2259.26 ft2), along with laboratory processing and analysis of cultural materials.   A total of 36,809 artifacts were collected and analyzed. Most relate to domestic activity spanning an approximately one hundred year period from 1830 to 1930.  The analyses included examination of vessel ware type and vessel form, along with a minimum vessel count and analysis of faunal remains to help shed light on the nature and extent of domestic activity within both Locus 1 and 3, as well as to help understand the socioeconomic status of the former occupants.  The analyses also looked at disposal and yard patterns to better understand the operation of Ohio farmsteads in the nineteenth century.

In summary, the data recovery at the Clayton/Huston Farmstead has shown that this site is an excellent exemplar for the early settlement of Richland Township and the establishment of successful farms by migrants from the Middle Atlantic states, as well as immigrants from foreign countries.  Migration to the area occurred rapidly following the establishment of Zane’s Trace, and the establishment of farms and communities.  The rapid establishment of transportation routes, especially the canals and rail lines, as well as the availability of good agricultural land provided the means for rapid growth of the local agricultural economy.  The material culture found at the Clayton/Huston Farmstead reflects the general prosperity and easy access to goods and services that characterized the region in the nineteenth century.  The archival data and archeological information indicate that the Claytons and Hustons were good ‘middling’ farmers that participated fully in the local social, political and economic community.


Paula L. Grubb, Emily Culver, and Kenneth B. Tankersley

University of Cincinnati

Twin Mounds Village (33Ha24) Revisited

Twin Mounds is a stratified open habitation site, which overlooks the Great Miami-Ohio Rivers confluence area in extreme southwestern Ohio.  Between 2008 and 2010, the Department of Anthropology, University of Cincinnati excavated more than 100 m2 of site exposing temporally and culturally distinctive Middle Woodland, Late Woodland, and Late Fort Ancient features.  Anthropogenic stratigraphy and radiocarbon dates provide chronological control for artifacts from the site, which were erroneously assigned as Hopewell by previous investigators.


Kevin R. Schwarz

ASC Group, Inc.

A Jack’s Reef Horizon Settlement Cluster in the Central Scioto Valley

Archaeological excavations for the REX-East pipeline project identified three sites in the Central Scioto Valley that provide evidence of Jack’s Reef Horizon occupations in floodplain and upland settings.   In 1992, Mark Seeman proposed the existence of the Jack’s Reef Horizon in Ohio as the habitational aspect of the Instrusive Mound Complex.   Very little professional research has been undertaken on domestic sites though. Radiocarbon dates confirm habitation associated with this late Late Woodland culture between A.D. 700-1000. Geophysical and excavation data reviewed in this paper indicate intensive habitation of small-scaled residential bases, secondary refuse disposal, and a flake tool lithic technology. 


Brian G. Redmond

Cleveland Museum of Natural History

Survey and Testing of an Early to Middle Woodland Enclosure at the Heckleman Site (33Er14): Results of the 2009-2010 Cleveland Museum of Natural History Field Seasons

During the summers of 2009 and 2010, The Cleveland Museum of Natural History (CMNH) carried out survey and test excavations at the Heckleman site located on the Huron River in Erie County, Ohio.   Initial geophysical surveys and additional testing were conducted in conjunction with the Firelands Archaeological Research Center (FARC) based in Amherst, Ohio. Geophysical surveys of the site in 2008 revealed two parallel ditches as well as a smaller, ovoid-shaped ditch that enclosed an estimated area of 1,300 square meters.   Test excavations by the CMNH field school in 2009 recovered relatively thick, cordmarked, flat-based pottery (Leimbach Cordmarked) from the fill of the ovoid enclosure ditch, as well as a fragment of deer bone which produced a (two-sigma) calibrated radiocarbon median date of 195 B.C. (Beta-264346). Block area excavations both within and outside the enclosure recorded numerous pits of varying size, some of which contained additional Leimbach series pottery and (Adena-Robbins-Leimbach) contracting stemmed points.  Two of these features produced (two-sigma) calibrated, median dates of 185 B.C. (Beta-264344) and 110 B.C. (Beta-264343). Of particular note are two large post-pits situated near the center of the oval enclosure and several caches of lithic debitage apparently derived from the manufacture of large foliate bifaces.  Additional pits produced finely cordmarked ceramics, mica fragments, expanded stemmed (Lowe cluster) and corner-notched (Snyders) projectile points and narrow bladelets, all made of Flint Ridge chert. Although not yet dated, these features are thought to have originated with the subsequent Hopewell Middle Woodland occupation of the site.   These initial results document the use of the Heckleman site as an important center of Early Woodland social-ceremonial activity as well as a significant locus of Ohio Hopewell culture in north-central Ohio.


Jarrod Burks

Ohio Valley Archaeology, Inc.

Geophysical Survey at Several Small Earthwork Sites in Southern Ohio: Identifying Emerging Complexity at small Earthwork sites

Small earthwork sites abound in Ohio. However, most maps of these places make them seem rather simple and they frequently portray these sites as little more than sacred circles sometimes accompanied by one or more mounds. In this presentation I explore the results of geophysical surveys at several small earthwork sites in southern Ohio and show that there is often more to these places than meets the eye.  In fact, it is likely that many of these smaller earthwork sites contained multiple earthen enclosures, mounds, and post enclosures. Some complexes were even encircled by ditches and embankments. Far from being simple in their composition and layout, many of the small earthwork sites of Ohio have an emerging complexity that clearly fills the gap between the single mound/sacred circle model of Adena ceremonial centers and the enormous ceremonial centers of the Hopewell.


Karen Niemel Garrard

Gray & Pape, Inc.

On the Banks of the Scioto River: Site 33PI952 in Pickaway County, Ohio

The Scioto River meanders for over 200 miles through central Ohio before joining with the Ohio River in Portsmouth by the Kentucky border. Site 33PI952, on the east bank of the Scioto River in Harrison Township, Pickaway County, Ohio, was occupied from the Early Archaic through Woodland time periods. Investigations at this site provide an opportunity to explore site distribution, function, material culture, and human adaptations along this major river drainage.


David F. Klinge

ASC Group, Inc.

Rural Industry, Class, and Community in Nineteenth-Century Southwest Ohio: 33CN428, 33CN430, 33CN433, and 33CN460

During the archaeological investigations for the REX-East pipeline in southwest Ohio, ASC Group, Inc. identified, evaluated, and conducted data recovery excavations on four historic sites in northern Clinton County. The four farm sites are located in Liberty Township and are clustered around the small village of Port William. Comparing the sites, including evidence of the preservation of outdated construction methodologies and supplemental, non-agricultural cottage industries, brings to light the class structure and community that existed in the region during the second half of the nineteenth century.


David Stothers

University of Toledo

Heckleman: A 2010 Perspective on the Middle Woodland Time Period in North Central Ohio

Revisiting and excavating the two parallel linear ditches at the Heckleman site provides verification of some aspects of what has been previously uncovered but also offers an opportunity to reassess the Middle Woodland time period in north central Ohio in a broader context.


Robert Genheimer

Cincinnati Museum of Natural History

Home is Where the Wall Trench Is: A Middle Fort Ancient House and Madisonville Pits at Hahn

Three summer field schools at the Hahn Site near Cincinnati, Ohio have resulted in the complete exposure of a middle Fort Ancient wall trench structure.  Four separate wall trenches contained at least 56 posts, one of which was dated to approximately A.D. 1350.  A pair of large and deep interior posts apparently held a ridge pole down the long axis of the structure.  With the exception of the house, and middle Fort Ancient debris in a relatively thick midden, most of the remaining archaeological resources recovered at Hahn are Madisonville in age (ca. A.D. 1450-1650).  Nearly a dozen large pit features, six of which were excavated within or in close proximity to the house, contain diagnostic Madisonville artifacts, including pottery with undecorated necks, large strap handles, bi-pointed knives, antler drifts, cemeted sand, bifacial endscrapers, and at least some bison faunal remains.  Despite partial remote sensing data, the true nature of the middle Fort Ancient and Madisonville occupations at the site remains poorly understood.

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