Millions and Millions of Flakes: Preliminary Results from The Barnyard Site, Stubbs Earthwork Complex

Robert A. Genheimer, Cincinnati Museum Center

The Barnyard Site, an outlier of the Hopewell-age Stubbs Earthwork in southwest Ohio, has proven to be one of the densest Hopewell lithic sites in America. Estimates from controlled surface collections and soil samples taken from a 0.1 hectare cultivated segment of the site suggest that between 8 and 12 million lithic reduction flakes are present. Both blade and bifacial reduction flakes are represented. Nearly all flakes are exotic to the area, and more than a dozen flint and material sources have been tentatively identified. These include Flint Ridge and Upper Mercer from Ohio; Newman, Boyle, Sonora, and St. Genevieve from Kentucky; Harrison County from Indiana; several varieties of Knox from Tennessee; Burlington from Illinois or Missouri; Kaolin from Illinois; Hixton from Wisconsin; obsidian from Wyoming; and, rock crystal quartz, most likely from the southern Appalachians. The latter two are of particular interest since reduction waste from either is extremely rare in Ohio. Plow zone removal above the densest portion of the site revealed the presence of four or more structures, including one that is clearly rectangular in outline. Although posts from the rectangular structure contain some flint debris, the majority of excavated posts produced few lithics, indicating that intensive knapping at the site may have postdated the construction and use of the structures. Data from both the Stubbs Earthwork and the Barnyard Site suggest that in many cases groups in geographic proximity to the flint sources may have brought these materials to this southwest Ohio earthwork complex.

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