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Missouri Department of Transportation

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LC Meyer Site (23CY563)



The LC Meyer site is a multicomponent site situated on an alluvial/colluvial fan west of where the Middle River enters the Missouri River valley in Callaway County.  The site was identified during the preliminary design process to replace the bridge over the Middle River and the subsequent realignment of 0.9 mile of Route 94. Middle River Bridge replacement Evidence of occupations during the Early Woodland, Middle Woodland, and Late Woodland periods was recovered from the survey and limited test excavations at the site. 

Once it was determined that the site could not be avoided, MoDOT archaeologists in 2002 excavated the portion of the site that would be directly impacted by the proposed construction activities.  The Late Woodland occupation of the site is located near the current ground surface and consists of a small cluster of 6 features (pits & hearths) with a light scatter of lithic and ceramic artifacts.  The Early Woodland and Middle Woodland occupations are buried approximately 75 cm beneath the Late Woodland occupation and consist of 80 features (shallow basin-shaped pits & hearths) with a scattering of artifacts on what would have been the living surface of the site.  The hearths and pits from both occupations were filled with broken pottery vessels, complete and fragmentary stone tools, remains of tool manufacturing, and the remnants of plants and animals eaten by the site’s inhabitants. 

A radiocarbon date of a wood charcoal sample recovered from a deep pit feature in the shallowly buried pit cluster points to the Late Woodland occupation between A.D. 1045 and A.D. 1220 (1 Sigma calibrated results).  Three additional carbon samples collected from the more deeply buried features indicates the Early Woodland occupation between 345 B.C. and 5 B.C. (1 Sigma calibrated results), and a Middle Woodland occupation between A.D. 85 to A.D. 210 (1 Sigma calibrated results).

Additional evidence of the Early Woodland and Middle Woodland occupations at the LC Meyer site is reflected in the projectile point assemblage.  The recovered projectile points discovered in the more deeply buried cultural deposits fall within two classes: contracting-stemmed and corner-notched.  The contracting stemmed projectile points are interpreted as appearing in the latter part of the Late Archaic period and continuing through the Early Woodland into the Middle Woodland period.  The styles of corner-notched projectile points present are generally associated with the Middle Woodland period in much of the Midwest.

Projectile points           Middle Woodland ceramic vessel rim sherd

Most of the ceramic assemblage from the buried cultural deposits are grit-tempered vessel fragments with stick impression on the exterior of the rim and a row of exterior nodes.  These sherds represent the Havana pottery type, associated with the Middle Woodland period.  No definite examples of Early Woodland pottery were identified during the excavations.

The analysis and interpretation of the data recovered during the excavation of the site is ongoing.

 

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