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Archaeological Investigations Within the Proposed U.S. 61 Corridor North of Canton in Lewis and Clark Counties Missouri – Volume VII: Data Recovery at the Late Woodland Artesian Branch Site (23LE178/357) in Lewis County, Missouri.



Data Recovery at Late WoodlandSeveral hundred cultural features were identified beneath the plowzone at the Artesian Branch site. Few of the features identified and excavated at the site were superimposed. The overwhelming majority of the features at the site relate to the early/middle Late Woodland South Branch phase. Feature types include numerous large-orifice, deep pits as well as earth ovens and pit hearths. A minority of the features from the site, clustered at the western portion of the site, appears to relate to a later non-South Branch phase occupation. Most of these features are shallow basins.

The South Branch occupation, which was extensive, dated between cal. A.D. 600 and 900. The assemblage included mainly sand-tempered, net-impressed pottery in association with Scallorn Cluster and Lowe Cluster hafted bifaces. The basic ceramic assemblage consists primarily of jars with some pinch pots and few to no bowls. The jars tend to demonstrate a move from a subconoidal form to a slightly more globular form. The South Branch lithic assemblage reflects a shift in technologies from a formal biface tradition, reflected by Lowe Cluster specimens, to a more expediently produced flake tool technology in the form of Scallorn Cluster hafted bifaces. Faunal and plant remains indicated that the subsistence economy was broad-based and included both upland and floodplain resources. Based on site-structure data, the South Branch habitation of the site likely represents repeated short-term, possibly seasonal, occupations. Correlating changes in pottery decoration with associated radiocarbon dates and jar wall thickness measurements suggests that the South Branch component may be subdivided into two phases, South Branch I and South Branch II.

The South Branch I phase (A.D. 300/400–cal. A.D. 650/700) is early Late Woodland. The main diagnostic markers of this phase are net-impressed, sand tempered jars exhibiting noded upper rims and dentate stamping on the interior lip. Jars, which are the primary vessel type present, are mostly subconoidal and exhibit weakly pronounced shoulders and nearly vertical rims. Lowe Cluster hafted bifaces are also present.

The South Branch II phase (cal. A.D. 650/700–900) represents the middle portion of the Late Woodland. Diagnostic markers of this phase are net-impressed, sand tempered jars exhibiting circular punctates on the upper rim and Scallorn hafted bifaces. Jars are the primary vessel form present, but differ from the South Branch I jars by having better defined shoulders and straight to slightly everted rims (i.e., more globular shape than subconoidal).

The undefined late Late Woodland occupation, which was ephemeral compared to the South Branch occupation, dated to between cal. A.D. 900 and 1000/1100. The ceramic assemblage consists mainly of cordmarked jars tempered with various types of crushed rock. Decoration included a few cord-decorated, castellated jars/rims. In addition to jars, several bowls were identified, including an elongated bowl. The projectile point assemblage consists of Scallorn Cluster and Small Triangular Cluster hafted bifaces. A broad-based subsistence economy is indicated among the identified plant and animal remains, which included maize in small amounts. As noted, this occupation is ephemeral in nature and appears to be the product of short-term, perhaps seasonal, occupations.

Data Recovery at the Late Woodland Artesian Branch Site Arrowheads

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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