David Stothers and His Contributions

Glen Boatman

Western Lake Erie Archaeological Research Program

For more than forty years David Stothers carried out a very intensive archaeological excavation program at the University of Toledo. He changed the conception that there were little Native American prehistoric sites in Northwest Ohio to the realization that there was much activity in this area. He trained some professionals even though the University never set up a Masters of Anthropology Program. He worked to educate avocational archaeology enthusiasts throughout Northwest and North Central Ohio and Southeast Michigan. He offered them opportunities to excavate right along side of his students. He encouraged avocationals to protect archaeological sites, setting up a system of Site Preservation Officers.  He wrote broadly on all periods of Native American prehistory and protohistory. He is a Man Not to be Forgotten. His multitude of artifact collections from excavated sites is being transferred to the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.


“Structural Archaeology” at the Heckelman Site in 2012

Brian G. Redmond,

Cleveland Museum of Natural History

In summer 2012, the Cleveland Museum of Natural History completed a fourth season of excavations at the Heckelman site in Erie County, Ohio.  Testing revealed the remains of several structures dating from the Early Woodland to Late Prehistoric periods.   The earliest construction is at least 12 meters in diameter and consists of large post molds.  It is located near the center of the Early Woodland oval enclosure.   The remains of a complete rectangular dwelling, another partial structure, and a possible gateway in the village stockade line greatly increased our understanding of the Late Prehistoric (Sandusky Tradition) village settlement that terminated the use of the Heckelman site.         


Sultan: Cleveland’s Grindstone Wreck

David M. VanZandt
Cleveland Underwater Explorers Inc.
Due to a novice captain’s error in judgment the brigantine Sultan foundered in Lake Erie off Cleveland, Ohio during a storm in 1864.  As the brigantine came to rest in shallow water only a few miles from shore with masts exposed, six of the eight crew climbed the rigging in an effort to survive.  One by one, however, the crew succumbed to the fury of the storm leaving a sole survivor to be rescued and to share the harrowing tale.  The wreck of the Sultan was discovered in 2011 by the Cleveland Underwater Explorers (CLUE) with the assistance of associate Rob Ruetschle.  A reconnaissance survey was conducted and the wreck was determined to be the Sultan based on a number of unique features including her deck load cargo of large grindstones


Like Fish in a Barrel: A Late Prehistoric Bison Kill Event at Big Bone Lick, Boone County, Kentucky

Robert A. Genheimer

Cincinnati Museum Center

During an unprecedented dry period in late summer 2008, low water levels in Big Bone Lick Creek exposed a carpet of modern bison bones on the creek floor.  After construction of a small coffer dam and pumping of water away from the bone bed, both paleontologists and archaeologist from the Cincinnati Museum Center conducted salvage excavations of the find.  The remains of five individual bison (none complete) were recovered from a thin, hard, sandy conglomerate.  Three bone clusters were identified within a 3m by 7m area, with the central bone cluster being the densest and most representative of a complete animal.  Within this matrix, at least two dozen expedient flint and stone tools were located.  The tools suggest that unifacial and bifacial implements were made ‘on the spot’ to aid in the butchering.  Since modern bison did not arrive in this part of the Ohio River Valley until A.D. 1450-1550, the kill/butchering event can be attributed to the Madisonville Phase (ca. A.D. 1450-1650).


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