CONTINUING ARCHAEOLOGICAL RESEARCH IN NORTHCENTRAL OHIO 2001-2002

David M. Stothers

University of Toledo

Andrew M. Schneider

The Mannik & Smith Group
Ohio Archaeological Council © 2002

Under the auspices of the Firelands Archaeological Research Center and the Sandusky Bay Chapter of the Archaeological Society of Ohio, excavations continued at the Taylor Site (33ER3) in 2001 under the direction of Dr. David M. Stothers, University of Toledo. To date, a total of 225 square meters has been excavated at the site, disclosing 35 burial features represented by 40 individuals in extended, flexed, bundled, or cremated burial types (Figure 1). Skeletal analysis is being conducted by Brian and Jenny Scanlan (Firelands Archaeological Research Center), and Dr. Kenneth Tankersley (Research Associate of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History) has completed fluorine dating on each burial. In addition, a series of five radiocarbon determinations were acquired from the burial area, and indicate a Late Woodland association. The limited cultural material recovered from the burial area includes Green Creek (A.D. 500-1000), Eiden (A.D. 1000-1250), Wolf (A.D. 1250-1450), and Fort Meigs Phase (A.D. 1450-1550) ceramics. The radiocarbon dates, the diverse temporal association of the artifacts, and the overlapping and underlying interments all suggest that the area was used as a long-term, traditional mortuary district by Sandusky Tradition populations.

Figure 1. Excavation plan of the Taylor site.
Figure 1. Excavation plan of the Taylor site.
 


In addition to the burial area, limited excavations were initiated in the central portion of the plateau, in an area that disclosed various habitation-related artifacts during the initial testing at the site. Seventy-five square meters have been excavated and disclosed multiple lines of postmolds and midden-like features possibly related to habitation structures. In addition to Eiden Phase ceramics and lithic tools and debitage, several kernels of maize were identified in feature contexts. Future investigation of this area is planned for 2002.

In addition to the prehistoric components at the Taylor Site, excavations were completed on the early 19th century William Pollack cabin, located in the prehistoric burial area. Historic features included remnants of a 12 x 15 foot cabin with a central fireplace and fallen brick chimney. Period ceramics and utilitarian artifacts were recovered, and included an 1829 "Liberty Head" penny.

A preliminary reconnaissance and documentation was undertaken at the Raccoon Farm Mound Group, a Middle Woodland Esch Phase bladelet cluster, and a nearby cabin site represented by early 19th century habitation debris. Test excavations were initiated at the Late Woodland SSW Site located on the west bank of the Vermilion River, directly opposite the Franks and Moes sites, on which research and analysis continue. Materials from the now destroyed John Baptiste Flammond's Trading Post, a turn of the 19th century trading post in the lower Huron River valley, are being documented from private collections. This effort is an extension of an ongoing compilation of historic aboriginal sites from the Sandusky Bay region through analysis and documentation of private and institutional collections.

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