Edward Henry of Washington University if St. Louis has been awarded a $595 research grant from KyOPA. Ed studies the construction of Adena-Hopewell earthen enclosures that were built during the Middle Woodland period (ca. 200 B.C. to A.D. 500) in Central Kentucky. His research is the first to examine the differences in how disparate social groups built and used these ritual gathering places. The radiocarbon dating he has undertaken at numerous enclosure sites provides the foundation for understanding when and how quickly people across the Central Kentucky landscape began participating in the construction and use of these sites. Henry will use the KyOPA Research Grant Fund to pay for one radiocarbon date from feasting debris he identified inside the Winchester Farm enclosure. The date will be run on the bone collagen of White Tail Deer remnants. The Winchester Farm enclosure is one of several enclosures that comprise the Mount Horeb earthworks in northern Fayette County. The site is the only one of its form (i.e., square with rounded corners) in Kentucky, and only one of two ever identified outside of Ohio (the other is at the Garden Creek site in western North Carolina). Knowing when the construction and use of these particular enclosures spread outside of Central Ohio, where many such enclosures have been identified, will help explain how quickly interaction between these two regions led to the spread of ritual ideas and practices.
From the Kentucky Hertiage Council: Have you been following KHC’s blog “30 days of Kentucky Archaeology”? If not you’re missing out on some fun and engaging (brief) essays about archaeological field work and research, and aspects of what professional archaeologists do (and endure) in the field. Strangers with guns, chiggers and ticks, and sharp pointy things? Yup. But also how professionals grapple with acknowledging contentious archaeological resources, why public archaeology is so important, and how technology is making it easier to tell these stories. Check it out!
2017 Marks the 5th year of Kentucky Archaeology month! (more…)