3. News and Announcements
New to Chillicothe
Due to the delay in getting this issue of Hopewell Archeology in print,
we have been slow to welcome Jennifer Pederson to the National Park Service.
Jennifer is the National Park Archeologist at Hopewell Culture National
Historical Park in Chillicothe.
Jennifer graduated from high school in suburban Atlanta, Georgia, and
studied anthropology at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia,
and graduated with a B.A. in 1993. Jennifer began graduate school as
a Dean’s Fellow in the Department of Anthropology at Ohio State University
in the autumn of 1994. She received her M.A. in Anthropology with a focus
in archeology in 1996 and is currently a Ph.D. candidate.
Her dissertation topic examines the factors affecting the location of
nucleated agricultural communities in central Ohio. Since joining the
National Park Service in January 1999, Jennifer has been busy becoming
familiar with National Park Service procedures and resource management
issues at Hopewell Culture National Historical Park. Jennifer plans to
conduct research at the Hopewell site during the summer of 2000.
More Changes at Hopewell Culture
National Historical Park
Hopewell Culture National Historical Park Superintendent John Neal has
accepted a new position as Superintendent, Apostle Islands National Lakeshore.
He will be stationed in Bayfield, Wisconsin. John served as Superintendent
at Hopewell Culture for seven years. Under his leadership, the park experienced
major expansion with the addition of the Hopewell site and significant
expansion of the boundaries at Hopeton. He also led the planning for
eventual purchase of portions of the High Banks and Seip Works. John
remains a strong supporter of archeology, and we wish him well in his
Update on Hopeton Earthworks Research
In July 1998, the Midwest Archeological Center and Hopewell Culture
National Historical Park collaborated on field investigations at the
Hopeton Earthworks site. The project was a continuation of research in
an area known as the Triangle site, which is located to the southwest
of the circle and square on the edge of the alluvial terrace. The parallel
walls, as mapped by Squier and Davis, originate at the point where the
circle and square join, and they run southwest across the Triangle site
and end at the terrace edge.
The purpose of the 1998 research was twofold: study the nature of prehistoric
activities in this area of the Hopeton Earthworks, and evaluate the utility
of using geophysical instruments to direct strategic test excavations
at Hopeton and similar earthwork sites in this area. The 1998 investigations
were conducted with assistance from students of the Milton Hershey School,
Hershey, Pennsylvania, and volunteers from Chillicothe and Columbus,
Ohio, and Nashville, Tennessee.
Prior to the start of the 1998 fieldwork, a large part (9,600 square
meters) of the Triangle site was mapped using an RM-15 resistance meter,
a Geometric's G858 cesium magnetometer, and a Geoscan FM36 fluxgate gradiometer.
In this study, the cesium magnetometer proved to be the most effective
in identifying small anomalies. While the resistance meter was less useful
in identifying small anomalies, it did produce data that may reflect
the remains of one of the parallel walls. A linear anomaly identified
with the RM-15 appears to correspond in location and orientation to the
southern of the two parallel walls as mapped by Squier and Davis.
The combination of the three geophysical survey instruments produced
evidence of a large number of anomalies that might represent prehistoric
features. The 1998 fieldwork was designed to investigate a number of
these anomalies to evaluate the utility of the geophysical survey and
to learn more about the prehistoric activities associated with the Hopeton
During more than two weeks of fieldwork, the research team investigated
dozens of potential magnetic or soil resistance anomalies. Anomalies
were investigated through excavation of five test units located over
specific anomalies, and through plowzone stripping of two larger areas
(Blocks A and B). Block A was 14 x 16 m, and Block B was 20 x 20 m.
In these two larger excavation units, each soil stain visible at the
base of the plowzone was carefully mapped, recorded, and evaluated. Most
features were small, subtle, and indicative of short-term use or limited
Features included post holes, pits, and a prepared clay basin. Most
of these features appear to be associated with Middle Woodland period
activities at the Hopeton Earthworks, but more recent features associated
with the Late Woodland period are also present. Flotation samples from
the features have been processed, and laboratory analyses of bone, macro-botanical
remains, and lithics are underway.
One of the pit features produced a moderately large piece of mica.
The mica is roughly oval-shaped, and it is approximately 16 cm long and
8 cm wide. The mica was cleaned, treated, and examined by the Gerald
R. Ford Conservation Center in Omaha, Nebraska. Examination of the object
included visual examination using a binocular microscope, photomacrographs,
and preparation of measured drawings. Careful examination of the mica
indicates that at least some of the edges have been cut. Comparison of
these edges with photos of cut-mica objects in the collections at Hopewell
Culture National Historical Park confirm this interpretation.
Analysis of materials from the Hopeton Earthworks is ongoing. The Midwest
Archeological Center hopes to prepare a report of this research in 2001.
Mounds and Geophysics
Mark R. Schurr, University of Notre Dame, has prepared a report on
his geophysical investigation of the Middle Woodland mounds in northwest
Indiana. The report describes Schurr’s research at well-known sites such
as Goodall and Bellinger, and it also provides valuable information about
less well known sites such as Weise Mound (12 Pr 35), Williams Mound
(12 Sj 330), and the Mud Lake site (12 Le 14). The report was prepared
for the Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology, Indiana Department
of Natural Resources, and is titled “Geophysical Surveys of Middle Woodland
Mounds in Northwest Indiana.” It is a valuable reference for anyone with
an interest in geophysics or northwest Indiana archeology.