STRAIT SITE RADIOCARBON DATES REVEALED

Jarrod Burks

The Ohio State University

Ohio Archaeological Council © 2001

In 2000 the OAC awarded Jarrod Burks and Ann B. Lee a $1000 grant for radiocarbon dating samples from the Strait site, an extensive, aggregated Middle-Late Woodland period settlement in northern Fairfield County (Burks and Dancey 1999) (see abstract below). Based on on-going excavations, Burks and Dancey had previously estimated the age of Strait as somewhere in the range of A.D. 300-500.

Four carbon samples from three features containing Middle-Late Woodland debris were submitted to Beta Analytic (see Burks and Dancey 1999 for Strait site plan maps). Three samples come from a feature complex interpreted as a structure with an internal pit. The pit (Feature 4) provided two dates with a radiocarbon age of 1820`40 BP (Beta-147063) and 1650`50 BP (Beta-147064). Carbon from a posthole (Feature 8/16) associated with the structure yielded a radiocarbon age of 1750`70 BP (Beta-147065). The final date was run using carbon taken from a shallow pit feature (Feature 1) located about 60 meters east of the dated structure. This feature provided a radiocarbon age of 1820`100 BP (Beta-147066). Using the 1998 calibration data (Stuiver et al. 1998; Talma and Vogel 1993), these dates intersect the calibration curve at A.D. 225, A.D. 410, A.D. 260, and A.D. 220, respectively.

While we had anticipated a range more centered around A.D. 350-400, these dates clearly place the Strait site occupation at the end of the Middle Woodland period. Given the location of the Strait site at the periphery of the Hopewell core areas, it is interesting that the dates were somewhat earlier. Other known aggregated villages located on the periphery of Hopewell core areas, such as Lichliter village (Allman 1957) and Haag (Reidhead and Limp 1974), also have early dates. Together these settlements, and a number of other early aggregated settlements, support a model of population reorganization at the end of the Middle Woodland period (Dancey 1992)--a process that began on the periphery and spread in to the Hopewell core areas over a 200 year period.

References Cited

Allman, John C.
 1957  A New Late Woodland Culture for Ohio: The Lichliter Village Site Near Dayton. Ohio Archaeologist 7(2):59-68.

Burks, Jarrod, and William S. Dancey
 2000  The Strait Site: A Middle to Late Woodland Settlement in Central Ohio. Ohio Archaeological Council Newsletter 11(2):6-11.

Dancey, William S.
 1992  Village Origins in Central Ohio: The Results and Implications of Recent Middle and Late Woodland Research. In Cultural Variability in Context: Woodland Settlements of the Mid-Ohio Valley, edited by M.F. Seeman, pp. 24-29. Special Paper No. 7. Midcontinental Journal of Archaeology, Kent State University Press, Kent, Ohio.

Reidhead, Van A., and William F. Limp
 1974  The Haag Site (12 D 19): A Preliminary Report. Indiana Archaeological Bulletin 1(1). Indiana Historical Society, Indianapolis.

Stuiver, M., et al.
 1998  INTCAL98 Radiocarbon Age Calibration. Radiocarbon 40(3):1041-1083.

Talma, A. S., and J. C. Vogel
 1993  A Simplified Approach to Calibrating C 14 Dates. Radiocarbon 35(2):317-322.