Feature: Early Farmhouses of McCracken County

From 25 January to 07 February 2017, Wood Environment & Infrastructure Solutions archaeologists conducted Phase II archaeological evaluations of two historic sites (15McN189 and 15McN190) at the TVA Shawnee Fossil Plant, McCracken County, Kentucky. Sites 15McN189 and 15McN190 were identified during a Phase I survey for borrow soils at Shawnee Fossil Plant. Archival research revealed Edward Fletcher, a freed African American slave, owned the property at 15McN189 and George Fletcher (Edward Fletcher’s brother), a freed African American slave, owned the property at 15McN190. Site 15McN189, the residence/homestead of Edward Fletcher, dates to the late nineteenth century through early twentieth century. The intact depositional patterns aided in identifying the presence of the dwelling, possible outbuildings, and layout of the farmstead. Site 15McN190, the residence/homestead of George Fletcher, dates to the mid-nineteenth century through early twentieth century.

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KyOPA Research Grant Awarded

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.

30 Days of Archaeology

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!