Hopewell Culture National Historical Park
is pleased to host the summer 2013 archeological lecture series. The following is a list of speakers and titles of topics to be presented. The programs will be held at the Mound City Group Visitor Centerlocated at 16062 St. Rt. 104 just north of Chillicothe. Each lecture will start at 7:30 P.M.
June 20: Hearth Features, Land-Use Intensification, and Archaeological Preservation Bias: A Case Study fromNorthwest Texas
Laura R. Murphy, Department of Anthropology, University of Kansas
Archaeologists assume a strong link between increasing hunter-gatherer populations, decreasing territories, and an increase in plant cooking facilities on the landscape. Fire-cracked rock (FCR) features such as hearths and earth-ovens used to process plant foods with lower caloric values reflect an intensified use of the land. Because the link between FCR features, population, and land-use intensification depends on locating hearth features and establishing a radiocarbon chronology, it is critical to measure erosion bias and correct population estimates based on sites lost. I present a method for calculating demographic changes where we correct for preservation bias after determining the density of hearth features from landform surfaces of known ages. I test the model in northwestTexaswhere surface survey yielded 385 hearths. When we understand the extent to which the archaeological record has been affected by erosion, we can make more substantiated conclusions about the archaeological patterns on the surface that inform us about human behavior.
June 27: The Circleville Earthwork and Hopewell
The Circleville earthwork was one of the greatHopewell works ofOhio, but it was unfortunately lost to history by destruction in the early 19th century by the rapidly growingvillage ofCircleville, and also by Squier’s and Davis’s cursory treatment of it in their 1847 book, “Ancient Monuments of theMississippiValley”. Because of these factors, it has been largely ignored in discussions of theHopewell phenomenon. This great work and its surroundings have much to teach us about the Hopewell: the work shared many features with other Ohio earthworks but it had some unique attributes too, it was geographically isolated from the concentration of works around Chillicothe and so can serve as a model for settlement and population patterns associated with a major work, and it serves as a sad reminder of how much can be lost to unwitting progress. This presentation will cover the work itself, compare it with otherOhio earthworks, present currently knownHopewellsettlement patterns around Circleville, and encourage preservation of knowledge by all devotees of archeology.
Hopewell material culture and ideas played a prominent role and spread widely in the Middle Woodland period ofMidwestprehistory. During this time of voluminous trade in a number of materials, copper procured from the Lake Superior area was transported to theHopewell core inOhio, and the metal was fashioned into a variety of artifacts. This lecture focuses on research comparing copper use inOhio, Hopewell-related sites in southwesternWisconsin, and Havana Hopewell sites in theIllinois RiverValley. The form and type, context, and, when available, the metric attributes of copper artifacts were analyzed in order to more fully understand the nature of copper use and what this suggests regarding Wisconsin and Illinois Hopewell connections.
July 25: Results of a Large Scale Geophysical Survey at HopewellCulture National Historical Park
Over the last year large scale magnetic surveys have been underway at three of the sites in Hopewell Culture National Historical: Hopewell Mound Group, Hopeton, and High Banks. Making such a survey a reality has been a goal of mine for years and I have finally found the scientific equipment that can make it happen. In this talk I explore some of the results from the survey. Every day of the survey brought new surprises as we battled with the uncertain weather and vigorous vegetation that covers the sites. Looking at the resulting data at the end of each day was a real treat as I never knew what might have been found. From buried earthwork ditches and large pit features to lines of posts following earthwork edges, there are many interesting features in the new data that should launch decades of exciting excavations. These data are so new that you will be some of the first people on the planet to see signs of these buried features since the Hopewell created them some 2000 years ago. Come join us in discovering what lies beneath at Hopewell Culture NHP!
For more information about these programs, please call 740-774-1126 or visit theHopewellCultureNationalHistoricalPark website at www.nps.gov/hocu
Hopewell Culture National Historical Park
National Park Service
U.S. Department of the Interior