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Allen #3 Site (23MO1229)



Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) archaeologists identified the Allen #3 site during the preliminary design process to upgrade U.S. Route 67 into a 4-lane highway through Madison County.  Archaeologists from MoDOT and the Center for Archaeological Research (CAR) at Missouri State University conducted archaeological excavations at the Allen #3 Site after the proposed highway improvements could not be modified to avoid impacting the site.

Refitted rhyolite bifaces

Initial archaeological excavations indicated that the occupants of this site were utilizing a locally available igneous rock named rhyolite to make stone tools.  Most of the recovered rhyolite was very similar in color and structure; therefore, the archaeologists believed it came from a single outcrop source.  The process of making stone tools by lithic reduction is poorly documented in the Ozarks; consequently, the archaeologists approached the further excavation of the site with this goal in mind.

Archaeologists recovered projectile points that appeared to represent a Late Archaic (3000 – 1000 B.C.) occupation.  The distribution of rhyolite debitage at the site was thought to reflect activity areas associated with the different stages of lithic tool production.  The archaeologists believed the site was a relatively small limited activity area that was used primarily for stone tool production using the locally available rhyolite. 

The Allen #3 Site documents the initial stages of lithic reduction during the Late Archaic time-period in the Ozarks.  This, in and of itself is rare, but also the fact that the occupants of the site were utilizing rhyolite makes it that much more rare and ultimately, significant in the prehistory of the Ozarks and Missouri.  Two technical reports have been produced on the results of archaeological data recovery excavations at this site:  MoDOT’s Mitigation of Adverse Effects of Widening of Route 67 upon the Allen #3 Site, 23MO1229, Madison County, Missouri (2008), and CAR’s Data Recovery Investigations at the Noknee (23MO1203) and Allen [#3] (23MO1229) Sites in Southern Madison County, Missouri (2008).

 

 

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