Annual Meeting 2003

Saturday, November 1, 2003

Historic Central Appalachian Mortuary Customs: A View from Eastern Kentucky.
Alexandra D. Bybee, Cultural Resource Analysts, Inc., Lexington, Kentucky.

Historic customs surrounding human death in central Appalachia developed from local tradition and culture, with economic and social conditions existing within individual populations strongly influencing death rituals. As a result, a variety of mortuary customs developed, many of which were specific to nineteenth and early twentieth century central Appalachia. This paper discusses mortuary practices fundamental to many historic central Appalachian populations. An emphasis is placed on eastern Kentucky, with examples from several rural family cemeteries.

Preliminary Observations on Newly Identified Woodland Components at Marietta, Washington County, Ohio.
Wesley Clarke, Ohio Department of Transportation, District 10, Marietta, Ohio, and Annette G. Ericksen, Cultural Resource Analysts, Inc., Hurricane, West Virginia

Archaeological survey of a multi-use “bikeway” corridor in Marietta Township, Washington County, Ohio, was conducted by the environmental planning staff of the Ohio Department of Transportation’s District 10 office between October 2001 and January 2003. Systematic investigation in the 3.1 kilometer corridor identified 5 new prehistoric sites (33WN414-WN418), all of which appear to be predominantly or entirely Woodland in affiliation. Substantial in situ preservation is extant at several of these locations, and a preliminary analysis suggests that domestic Middle Woodland components may be present. The potential for these sites to be contemporaneous with the adjacent Hopewellian earthworks is particularly intriguing and worthy of additional investigation.

One Hundred and Twenty Years Later: A Look at Artifacts from the 1880s Mound Explorations of the Bureau of American Ethnology.
Darla Spencer, Cultural Resource Analysts, Inc., Hurricane, West Virginia.

In the 1880s, the Bureau of American Ethnology (now the Smithsonian Institution) sponsored a series of explorations of hundreds of burial mounds in eastern North America. In West Virginia, excavations were conducted by Col. P.W. Norris under the direction of Cyrus Thomas. Artifacts from the investigations have been housed at the Smithsonian Institution for over 100 years and have been seen by very few individuals. One of the results of a survey of the Lower Kanawha River Valley sponsored by the West Virginia Humanities Council is the recordation of several mounds previously excavated by the BAE. This paper will present visuals of many of the artifacts, reveal some surprises, and indicate areas for future research.

Update on the West Virginia Frontier Fort Project: Old Methods, New Sites and Preservation Needs.
Kim A. McBride, Kentucky Archaeological Survey and W. Stephen McBride, McBride Preservation Services, Lexington, Kentucky

Archaeological, documentary, and oral historical research in the early 1990s resulted in collection of information on 12 well-known fort sites in the Greenbrier and Middle New River drainages, beginning our Frontier Fort Research Project. Since that time we have learned much more about the frontier defensive system, and learned that MANY more forts existed in the region. In 2002 and 2003 a grant for the WV Division of Culture and History made possible additional research on Clover Lick Fort, Jarrett’s Fort, Handley’s Fort, and Roney’s Fort, of which the first three were positively located. These investigations have demonstrated the necessity of an interdisciplinary approach to locating this often nearly invisible site type. This grant project also includes the initiation of a new thrust in the project, exploring National Register listing as a tool to encourage the preservation of frontier fort sites.

Collected Papers — Panhandle Archaic Americans in the Upper Ohio Valley: A View from the East Steubenville Site, Northern West Virginia.
GAI Consultants, Inc., Monroeville, Pennsylvania

In 1955, Dr. Wm. Mayer-Oakes used artifacts from the East Steubenville site (46Br31) and other Archaic shell middens to define the Panhandle Archaic, a previously undocumented, Native American riverine lifeway in the Upper Ohio Valley. In 1999-2000, data recovery excavations at East Steubenville by WVDOT and GAI Consultants, Inc. provided the first opportunity in five decades for comprehensive excavation, analysis and reporting of a Late Archaic shell midden site in the region. The presentations today focus on new insights from studies of the cultural material and human remains recovered from the site. Following a brief overview of the excavations, analysts report on Late Archaic shellfish use at the East Steubenville site, Panhandle Archaic technology, and overviews of site chronology, subsistence and settlement, and human biology of the Panhandle Archaic Native Americans. Taken together, these findings at East Steubenville offer a more detailed perspective on the Panhandle Archaic people and their lifeway 4000 years ago in the Upper Ohio Valley.

History of Excavations at the East Steubenville Site, Brooke County, West Virginia.
Jonathan C. Lothrop, GAI Consultants, Inc., Monroeville, Pennsylvania

This paper summarizes the history of investigations at the East Steubenville site. Following its discovery in 1938 by founding members of the West Virginia Archaeological Society, Dr. Wm. Mayer-Oakes analyzed collected artifacts and reported his findings in 1951 and 1955. Excavations by Franciscan University of Steubenville 1978-1980 were followed by Phase III investigations in 1999-2000, conducted by WVDOT and GAI Consultants, Inc.

Late Archaic Shellfish Use at the East Steubenville Site.
Lisa Dugas, GAI Consultants, Inc., Monroeville, Pennsylvania, and Harold Rollins, Retired Professor Department of Interplanetary and Geological Sciences, University of Pittsburgh.

Data recovery excavation at the East Steubenville site yielded a total of 15,312 freshwater mussel valves. Shells recovered from features were taxonomically apportioned among 26 species, and are dominated by Elliptio dilatata (Elephantear) and Elliptio crassidens (Spike). Habitat reconstruction using Warren’s Unio statistical package indicates that 80-90% of the recovered mussel species are entirely consistent with the extant proximal large river. This implies little geomorphic change of the major riverine environment since the time of Native American occupation of the site. There is no evidence of ritualistic behavior involving shell suggesting that the mussels at this site were used almost entirely for food. However, some culturally modified mussel valves indicate a mussel shell industry during the Panhandle Archaic at the East Steubenville site. Field experiments were conducted to provide additional insights into mussel processing and shell tool use by Panhandle Archaic Americans.

Insights into Panhandle Archaic Technology at the East Steubenville Site (46BR31), a Late Archaic Site in the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia.
Kenneth W. Mohney, Skelly and Loy Inc., Monroeville, Pennsylvania, and Renee Sobota, GAI Consultants, Inc., Monroeville Pennsylvania.

The data recovery investigation of the East Steubenville Site (46BR31) provided the first opportunity for detailed study of a large artifact assemblage from a Panhandle Archaic shell midden site. Lithic analysis identified a variety of tool types including projectile points, bifaces, drills, and cobble and groundstone tools. The lithic assemblage is dominated by the biface class, which includes a square-bit biface scraper type not previously identified in the Upper Ohio Valley. Due to the unusual preservation conditions afforded by the shell midden, a number of bone and antler, as well as shell, tools were recovered, offering insights into non-lithic industries from a Panhandle Archaic site. Based on these findings, we offer a preliminary interpretation of the organization of Panhandle Archaic technology.

Panhandle Archaic Americans at the East Steubenville Site: Chronology, Subsistence, and Settlement.
Jonathan C. Lothrop, GAI Consultants, Inc., Monroeville, Pennsylvania

How has the data recovery investigation of the East Steubenville site advanced our understanding of the Panhandle Archaic people and their lifeway since Mayer-Oakes’ first synthesis in 1955? Building on the previous papers, this presentation (1) reviews absolute and relative dating of the site, (2) summarizes food remains as evidence of Panhandle Archaic subsistence and site seasonality, and (3) considers the role that East Steubenville may have played as one seasonal encampment in a larger Late Archaic settlement pattern in the Upper Ohio Valley. Finally, we summarize osteological studies of the site’s Native American remains, revealing the identity of these Archaic hunter-gatherer-fishers of the Upper Ohio Valley.

Late Archaic and Early Woodland Archaeology at the Burning Spring Branch Site (46Ka142): Some Preliminary Observations.
C. Michael Anslinger, Cultural Resource Analysts, Inc., Hurricane, West Virginia

 

The Late Archaic – Early Woodland transition in the Kanawha Valley is poorly documented and understood. Phase II and III excavations completed by Cultural Resource Analysts, Inc. for the Huntington District Corps of Engineers at the Burning Spring Branch Site (46Ka142) between 2000-2002, identified a buried stratigraphic sequence that included late/terminal Late Archaic and early Early Woodland components. Analysis has not been conducted, but a preliminary examination of hafted bifaces, ceramic pottery, and sandstone and steatite bowls suggests the deposits date primarily from about 1200 to 800/700 B.C. In addition to expanding our general understanding of this rather elusive period in Kanawha Valley prehistory, the full analysis and dating of these components has the potential to provide specific information for a number of important research questions including the identification of diagnostic hafted bifaces, the local introduction of ceramics and their cultural-temporal relationship to stone bowls, and changes in subsistence practices. Data from the site should also be useful for testing the dates reported for Fayette Thick ceramics and associated hafted at Coco Station (46Ka294).

A Bountiful Table: Archaeology of James Machir’s Caledonia Farmstead (46HY369) in Hardy County, West Virginia.
Raymond Ezell and Emmett Brown, Michael Baker Jr., Inc., Charleston, West Virginia.

This paper discusses archaeological testing excavations at site 46HY369 by Michael Baker Jr., Inc. in 2002, and presents a summary of archaeological and historical investigations, as well as conclusions drawn regarding the socio-economic status of its inhabitants and how this status is displayed through the site’s material remains. Since rural farmsteads are often identified during archaeological surveys, a great deal of literature has been devoted to their study. The rural farmstead shaped the European settlement pattern throughout the Mid Atlantic and surrounding regions during the 17th and 18th centuries. The success of the farmstead was in part due to their organization as economic and social institutions that served the expanding frontier society. Rural farmsteads followed similar cycles of initial establishment, passage to children, sale to private individuals, and abandonment. The archaeological and historical investigation of the “Caledonia” farmstead presents a view of the socio-economic nature of this 18th-19th century rural farmstead type in Hardy County, West Virginia.

Buildings Gone but Not Forgotten: Historical Archaeology at the Albert Gallatin Jenkins House, Green Bottom, Cabell County, West Virginia.
William D. Updike, Cultural Resource Analysts, Inc., Hurricane, West Virginia.

During the summer of 2002, Cultural Resource Analysts, Inc. conducted archaeological testing at Green Bottom, Cabell County, West Virginia for the Huntington District, US Army Corps of Engineers. This testing project was to determine the integrity and function of former outbuildings associated with the Jenkins House. These outbuildings included a kitchen, privy, and possible office. Two former entrances to the Jenkins House, two sidewalks, and a fencerow were also defined during this investigation. This paper expands on a brief overview of the excavations given at the last meeting, and provides further interpretation of the kitchen and the artifact assemblage.

Faunal Analysis of the Jenkins House Site (46Cb41): Indications of Agricultural Production and Subsistence Practices in Cabell County, West Virginia.
Jessica Allgood, Cultural Resource Analysts, Inc., Lexington, Kentucky, and William D. Updike, Cultural Resource Analysts, Inc. Hurricane, West Virginia

In the summer of 2002, the Huntington District, US Army Corps of Engineers contracted with Cultural Resource Analysts, Inc. to conduct archaeological testing at the Jenkins House site (46Cb41) in Cabell County, West Virginia. The Jenkins House site represents the largest plantations on this section of the Ohio River. The Jenkins House site offers a unique opportunity to better understand agricultural production and faunal subsistence activities from an Antebellum plantation context. Archival research was conducted for Cabell County in general, and the Jenkins House in particular. Analysis of the vertebrate faunal remains from the Jenkins House site (46Cb41) gives archaeologists the opportunity to examine subsistence activities associated with the occupants of the site. Through comparison with contemporaneous sites in West Virginia, this paper explores the Upland South subsistence adaptation in West Virginia, and the expression of social and economic status in diet.

Analysis of Rimsherds from the Snidow Site (46MC1), Mercer County, West Virginia.
David N. Fuerst, Department of Anthropology, University of Kentucky, Lexington.

This report analyzes the paste and morphological attributes on 46 rimsherds associated with the protohistoric component at the Snidow site, Mercer County, West Virginia. The Snidow site is located in southern West Virginia on a lower floodplain and terrace of the Bluestone River. The rimsherds were recovered through waterscreening from lower floodplain features, many of which produced protohistoric glass beads and copper and brass artifacts dating to A.D. ca. 1600-1650. Although the sample size of the rimsherds is small, the analysis identified three major paste classes, and determined that the rimsherds do not exhibit significant differences in their morphological attributes. Despite these findings, it appears that the features with and without protohistoric artifacts contain contemporaneous rimsherds, thus supporting the notion that the lower floodplain occupation represents a single component.

The Domestic Landscape of Slavery: Results of Excavations at the Duckworth Farm, Bath County, Kentucky.
Stevan C. Pullins, Cultural Resource Analysts, Inc., Hurricane, West Virginia

The Duckworth Farm (15Bh212) is located on the old Maysville and Mount Sterling Turnpike (now Route 11) just outside of Sharpsburg, Kentucky. Three structures, including sub-floor pits, a stone-lined cellar, and numerous landscape features, were identified at this early- to mid nineteenth-century farmstead, representing the more marginal portion of the farm where slaves lived. This paper describes the results of excavations conducted for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. Though documentary records are scant and provide almost no direct information about the lives of the slaves owned by the Duckworth family and little more about the Duckworths themselves, careful integration of archaeological and historical data reveals important information regarding the topic of slave landscapes on the edge of the Outer Bluegrass region of Kentucky.

Early Middle Archaic and Early Archaic Occupations at the Confluence of the Little Kanawha and Ohio Rivers, Wood County, West Virginia: A Preliminary Report.
William C. Johnson, Ryan W. Robinson, J. Steven Kite, Edward J. Siemon, III and Jonathan Glenn, Cultural Resources Section, Michael Baker Jr., Inc., Coraopolis, Pennsylvania

Between 2001 and 2003, the Cultural Resources Section of Michael Baker Jr., Inc., conducted Phase I, II, and III archaeological investigations at the deeply stratified Godbey Field (46Wd214) and West Blennerhassett (46Wd83-A) sites for the West Virginia Division of Highways as part of the mitigation work for Appalachian Corridor D. These excavations have documented evidence for extensive Early and early Middle Holocene occupations at the confluence of the Little Kanawha and Ohio rivers. These include deeply buried floors displaying Kirk Corner-Notched and LeCroy Bifurcate Stemmed projectile point/knives (pp/ks) and associated tools and hearths at the Godbey Field and West Blennerhassett sites, respectively, as well as more ephemeral evidence for deeper cultural deposits at the West Blennerhassett site down to a depth of ca. 7 m below ground level. The LeCroy occupation horizon is at least 65 cm thick at the West Blennerhassett site. Evidence for far more intensive utilizations of both sites by early Middle Archaic people associated with Kirk Serrated and Stanly Stemmed pp/ks was also documented. Early Middle Archaic deposits at the Godbey Field site were 80-cm thick and included ten diagnostic pp/ks and nine hearths in a 7 x 9 m block. At the West Blennerhassett site, the Early Middle Archaic deposits were ca. 1.5 m thick. While only approximately eight diagnostic pp/ks and relatively few tools were recovered from this horizon, approximately. 80 hearths were documented and excavated in this latter deposit.

Phase I-III investigations also recorded extensive Late Archaic and Middle and Late Woodland period components at both sites.

Update from West Virginia’s Archaeological Collections Facility.
Dee DeRoche, Historic Preservation Section, West Virginia Division of Culture and History, Moundsville, West Virginia.

Work continues on improving the storage conditions at the State’s repository. Artifacts are being rehoused into the safe and convenient West Virginia boxes that enhance preservation and facilitate locating and viewing objects. Accessibility has also been improved by an inventory, box by box, of the entire collection, which has made it possible to find material from particular sites more quickly and accurately and to respond to requests for information more promptly. Digital imaging capability has also been a boon for sharing information. Specific examples of collections use will be presented. Questions and suggestions spurred by the distribution to consultants last December of guidelines for submitting collections for curation are helping refine policies for using the facility. Plans to expand the available storage area are also progressing.

Brooke County’s Beech Bottom.
Andrea Keller, Survey Archaeologist, West Virginia State Historic Preservation Office, Charleston, West Virginia.

When the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection planned to reclaim coal refuse along the Ohio River, it discovered that this area contained several archaeological mysteries including a lost Revolutionary War era fort.