Archaeological investigation of the Voss Site, located along the Big Darby Creek in southwestern Franklin County, was conducted as part of Ph.D. dissertation research under the direction of Dr. William Dancey.  The Voss site and reconstructed mound are located on the east side of Big Darby Creek just south of the confluence of the Little and Big Darby Creeks within the Battelle-Darby Metro Park.  The Ohio Historical Society conducted a salvage excavation of the Voss Mound in 1963.  In 1967, further investigation of the site yielded two house structures and numerous pit features.  A recent remote sensing survey, specifically a fluxgate gradiometer survey, and subsequent feature excavation have revealed additional parts of the village.

The 1960s baselines were reconstructed on the ground and plotted in terms of the present grid system in order to create a combined map of both sets of excavations.  The arc of storage/trash pit features mapped and excavated during the 1960s excavations corresponds well to the arc of storage/trash pit features mapped and partially excavated recently (Figure 1).  The shovel test transect to determine artifact densities across the site shows artifact concentrations to the north and well to the south of the exposed pits.  The greatest artifact density in the shovel test pits was found north of the area surveyed with the magnetometer and beyond the arc of storage/trash pits.   The artifact density map does not show one relatively debris-free central zone, although two pockets towards the middle of the transect do indicate few to no artifacts.

 

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Figure 1. Map showing 1960s excavations in transparency in relation to the reconstructed mound, features uncovered in recent excavations, and shovel test transect to determine artifact density. 1960s map of excavations courtesy of the Ohio Historical Society.

 The magnetic survey indicates that many more large pit features exist on the outer margins of the area surveyed.  Based on anomaly testing at the site, magnetic monopoles with readings in the range of 5.5-15 nT are good candidates for these large storage pit features.  Figure 2 shows anomalies within this range in red (with the exception of dipoles, red with white, being modern disturbances).  Large pit features densely clustered on the outer margins of the survey with few in the center strongly supports the idea of a circular village with a central plaza. 

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Figure 2. Magnetic data showing in red those anomalies having readings within the range of the large storage/trash pit features uncovered during anomaly testing.


              The classification of Voss Village as Late Woodland Cole Complex has been questioned by a number of archaeologists.  The 1966 excavations did recover woodland-like pottery and a limited number of side-notched projectile points.  However, the dominance of triangular projectile points, a percentage, albeit small (2%), of shell-tempered pottery, ceramics with incised decorative motifs and strap handles, a reliance on maize agriculture, and a circular village pattern with a plaza and mound indicate Fort Ancient affiliation.