By Andrew Smith, Beth K. McCord and Donald R. Cochran
Reports of Investigation 74, Archaeological Resources Management Service, Ball State University
PDF of Report, Redacted Version


Abstract

This Historic Preservation Fund grant project investigated the archaeological resources of the Stony Creek Valley in Hamilton County, Indiana. Approximately 388 acres (157 hectares) of agricultural land were surveyed and 168 new archaeological sites were recorded. The survey recovered 1937 prehistoric artifacts and 249 historic artifacts from nine locations within the Stony Creek and William Lock Ditch valleys. Early Archaic, Late Archaic, Middle Woodland and Late Woodland/Prehistoric components were documented from the precontact era. The average site density recorded for the project area for precontact sites was one site per 2.3 acres. This density was one of the highest in the region and higher than that encountered in the White River valley. The highest artifact densities were encountered in survey areas with Milton Variant silt loam. This soil overlies shallow limestone deposits that likely contain both Fall Creek chert and Liston Creek cherts. Investigations of the locally available Fall Creek chert, Fall Creek quartzite and Liston Creek chert revealed issues related to chert sourcing and identification. It was proposed that Fall Creek chert be classified as a variety of Jeffersonville chert. The project suggests that precontact populations used the Stony Creek valley and its tributary valleys for repeated short term settlements. Site duration was most intensive at focal resource areas such as chert locations.