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Archeaologists unearth ancient indian artifacts

October 23, 2006|Brittany Griffin

Archaeologists unearthed a few more pieces of Clark County's rich Native American history this Saturday. Several groups, including the Kentucky Archaeological Survey, the Kentucky Heritage Council, the Falls of the Ohio Archaeological Society, the University of Kentucky, Eastern and Northern Kentucky Universities, and some private companies worked together to excavate in the Indian Old Fields area on Kiddville Road, near the site of a proposed interchange for Kiddville and the Mountain Parkway, for any Indian remains.

Volunteers from across the state came out to help sift, explained Dave Pollack, who is involved with both the Kentucky Archaeological Survey and the Kentucky Heritage Council.

Native Americans lived in this area for over 10,000 years, said Pollack. This particular area had yet to be investigated until Saturday, he said.

The volunteers dug through the dirt piles after the area had been bulldozed and then sifted the dirt through screens. They didn't get much help from nature, because heavy rains made the mud difficult to sift, explained EKU archaeology professor Kelli Carmean.

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There was a very large Shawnee settlement in the area, but the discoveries do not appear to be Shawnee, explained Carmean. While Shawnee arrowheads are small and triangular in shape, these projectile points had a base that indicates they were used in spears and from a different, unidentified tribe.

Most of what was uncovered were shards from manufacturing, when Native Americans created and sharpened their projectiles, Pollack said. Archaeologists also uncovered a celt fragment, which is a piece of ground stone that was used to chop down trees, and a fragment of stone that was shaped into a bell-shaped pestle, which was probably used to ground nuts, Carmean explained.

All of the artifacts were found from an earlier Indian settlement dated between the late Archaic and early woodland time frames, probably 2,000-5,000 years old, she said.

The area is privately owned by the United Mountain Horse Inc., which requested the excavation be performed before they finished construction of an upcoming equestrian center, said Gwynn Henderson, the education coordinator for the Archaeological Survey.

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