Washington State Park Rock Art Site "A" (23WA01)

The petroglyphs at 23WA1 are open to the public for viewing; the petroglyphs, plants, soil sediments and all artifacts are protected by the Missouri State Parks. Artifacts associated with the petroglyphs were excavated in 1959 by Ron Wyatt. A single diagnostic projectile point was discovered during 2017 while doing photographic documentation of the site during the solar eclipse.


Serrated Scallorn projectile point discovered during 2017 by Eric Fuller, archaeologist on staff at Smallin Cave park in Ozark, MO. The Scallorn point was manufactured from a heat treated chert flake that visually has the characteristics of Crescent Quarry chert typical of the prehistoric mines in Jefferson and St. Louis Counties, MO. Length = 23.8 mm, width = 12.0 mm, thickness = 3.3 mm and weight = 0.9 grams. This arrowpoint closely resembles serrated Scallorn points found at several Mississippian sites in Missouri. For example, similar points where excavated from the Turner-Snodgrass site (23BU21) where radiocarbon dates ranged from AD 1140+/-100 to AD 1450 +/-100 (Chapman 1980:273). There are many parallels for this point type from 23JE400 which is situated downstream along the Big River in Jefferson County (Henning and Collins 2009:55, Figure 10a-o). A single calibrated radiocarbon date from 23JE400 is Cal. AD 1030 1230 (Henning and Collins 2009:Table 2) and they interpret the site as contemporaneous with the Lohmann and possibly Stirling phases at Cahokia. Henning and Lohmann (2009:18) attribute 23JE400 to the Big River Phase that they place as earlier than the Ware Phase. They follow Kreslin (1964) who placed the Ware phase as coeval with the Sand Prairie phase in the American Bottoms. A parallel point, simply labeled a stemmed point (Milner 1983: Figure 26j) is illustrated from feature 44 (a burial of two adults with multiple offerings) at the East St. Louis Stone Quarry Site Cemetery in the American Bottoms; that site is associated with the Sand Prairie Phase in the American bottoms dating approximately AD 1350 to 1400. Chapman (1980:312) notes that Scallorn points are found in all regions of Missouri. This artifact type is a stemmed arrowpoint with small, sharp barbs. Chapman notes that length ranges from 20 to 57 mm with the average of 25 to 35 mm. Chapman associates Scallorn points with the Late Woodland Period (AD 400 - 900) and Mississippi Period (AD 900 - 1400).

Ron Wyatt (n.d.: 7, 31) twice mentions a "side-notched arrowhead" with "Mississippi association" being discovered during his excavation at 23WA1. This sounds like a Reed point. If it can be located and confirmed, this would be a second Mississippian point associated with 23WA1. We (Michael and Neathery Fuller) did not see it when we examined the artifacts from 23WA1 that are curated by the American Archaeology Division at the University of Missouri - Columbia.


Resharpened/exhausted Snyders point that was excavated by Ron Wyatt in 1959 at a depth of 9 inches below the surface in the crevice located 10 ft. NE of the Mighty Thunderbird. Length = 37.6 mm, width = 30.3, thickness = 6.7 mm, and weight = 4.5 grams. Chapman (1980:312) notes that Snyders points are found in all portions of Missouri, but with the greatest frequency in the Northeast region. This artifact type is a large, broad-bladed, corner notched blade with expanding stem and convex base. Chapman notes that length ranges from 50 to 150 mm with the average of 70 to 80 mm. DeRegnaucourt (1991:229 - 233) notes that this artifact type is found in Ohio and summarizes measurements from ninteen specimens: Length = 42 to 75mm, width = 31 to 52 mm, thickness = 6 to 12 mm and weight = 8.2 to 37.3 grams. Chapman associates Snyders points with the Middle Woodland Period (from 500 BC to AD 400) though examples appear as early as the Late Archaic Period (3000 - 1000 BC). Morrow (1984:38) observed that Snyder points are common in the eastern-third of Iowa. Sandstrom and Ray (2004:26) note that Snyders points are widely scattered but uncommon in the Ozark region of Missouri. Snyders points were documented in the FAI-270 work around Cahokia at the Holding Site (Fortier 1989: Figure 125m-q, Plate i). Several examples of Snyders points have been documented at excavated Middle Woodland sites in St. Louis County: the Creve Couer Site (Silverman 1971; Blake 1942; n.d.) and the Cowmire Creek Site (Craig and Vorreyer 2004) .



Photograph published Deising and Magre (1942) and Chapman (1953:Figure 5) of petroglyph cluster 2 situated on the bedrock shelf exposed on the South side of the crevice at 23WA1. This image was taken before the 1959 excavation of the crevice.

Unpublished photograph of the 1959 excavation of the soil deposits within the crevice at 23WA1. Image contributed by Ronald Wyatt.
Ron Wyatt (n.d.: 6-7) conducted an excavation of the east-west oriented crevice that essentially divides the petroglyph panel into a north third and south two-thirds. The results of his excavation are briefly summarized in the Missouri Archaeological Society Newsletter (Wyatt 1959). His unpublished manuscript notes that the crevice averaged 4.25 feet in width and ranged in depth from 17 to 39 inches in depth. Historic artifacts such as bottle glass were found only in the top 6 inches of the crevice fill. The fill within the crevice was a dark brown loess to a depth of 18 to 24 inches, then gradually became lighter in color and more clayey in consistency. Wyatt reported a single pottery sherd of Korondo Cordmarked ware (typical of the Late Woodland Period) was recovered in the fill as well as waste flakes, hematite fragments, a galena cube, an expanding stemmed drill, an intact corner notched projectile point (the resharpened Steuben point), a fragment of a round or oval scraper, a water worn pebble, and six other projectile point fragments. The presence of the Woodland Period artifacts in the crevice at 23WA1 is not surprising considering the fact that a very large village site is situated a half day walk from the petroglyphs. Wyatt (n.d.: 15) notes that the nearby village site yielded a large sample of pottery sherds of which 71% were Woodland and 29% were Mississippian. I have briefly examined the artifacts (pottery and lithics) from the nearby village site that are curated by the American Archaeology Division at the University of Misosuri - Columbia. Wyatt's accessment of the nearby village site is accurate.


Small bodysherd of Korando Cordmarked ware excavated by Ron Wyatt in 1959 from the crevice feature at Washington State Park Site A (23WA1).



Rounded base fragment excavated by Ron Wyatt in 1959 at a depth of 21 inches below the surface in the crevice in square B; Weight = 5.6 grams. This base is similar to an intact Waubesa point discovered at the BBB Motor Site in the American Bottoms (Johannessen 1984:Figure 19b, 100). The Waubesa point type dates to the Early and Middle Woodland Period in Southwest Missouri (Sandstrom and Ray 2004:62); Washington Park A is nearly in the bulls-eye for the distribution of Waubesa points (Ray 2016:Figure 90).This fragment resembles intact Waubesa points from the Florence Street site (Fortier 1984:Figure 25), and the Holding Site (Fortier et al. 1989: 349, Figure 124e-h).



Base fragment of a projectile point excavated by Ron Wyatt in 1959 at a depth of 22 inches below the surface in the crevice in excavation square F; Weight = 4.3 grams. Damage during excavation give the wrong impression that the artifact had been reused as a drill. My thoughts on the identification of this point have ranged across several types. The simplest solution is to tentatively identify this artifact as the base of a Steuben point; similar to the examples that Ray (2016:Figure 83e) illustrates from Oregon County, MO. Chapman (1980:313) notes that Steuben points are found in all regions of Missouri, but the greatest numbers are in the Northeast and Northwest regions. Chapman notes that length ranges from 38 to 100 mm with most specimens measuring between of 38 to 50 mm; thickness varies from 6 to 10 mm. DeRegnaucourt (1991:239) notes that this artifact type is similar to Lowe points found in Ohio and Indiana. Chapman associates Steuben points with the Middle Woodland (500 BC to AD 400) and Late Woodland Period (AD 400 to 900). Morrow (1984:42) observed that Steuben points occur primarily in the eastern third of Iowa. Ray (2016:122) notes that the Steuben point type ranges in age from the Late Middle Woodland into the early Late Woodland, approximately AD 200 - 700. Steuben points were recovered during the FAI-270 project near Cahokia from several sites including Leingang (Bentz et al: 51, 54, Figure 15e-i) and Holding (Fortier et al. 1989:354, plate 46n).



Base fragment of a shallow side notched point excavated by Ron Wyatt in 1959 at a depth of 18 to 19 inches below the surface in the crevice in square C; Weight = 3.3 grams. Identification is problematic with such a small specimen. My thoughts on the identification of this point have ranged across several types. The simplest solution is to tentatively identify as a very fragment Steuben point; similar to the examples that Ray (2016:Figure 83e) illustrates from Oregon County, MO. The dark lithic material is rhyolite that was available in limited outcrops in Southeast Missouri dating to the PreCambrian Period.



Bifacially flaked scraper, heat treated, from 17.5 inches beneath the surface of the soil fill in the crevice. The excavation square number was not indicated on the artifact bag. Length = 22.3 mm, width = 22.1 mm, thickness = 5.8 mm and weight = 3.5 grams.

Bifacially flaked scraper, heat treated, from Level I (0 to 6 inches) beneath the surface of the soil fill in square H within the crevice.

Large chert flake, not heat treated, from Level I (0 to 6 inches) beneath the surface of the soil fill in square H within the crevice. The fact that it was numbered suggests that it was considered an artifact even though it does not show clear evidence of use.

Quartzite pebble from Level III (12 to 18 inches) beneath the surface of the soil fill in square F within the crevice. The "bite" out of the pebble was probably the result of contact with a shovel. Diameter = 26 cm, thickness = 10.5 mm and weight = 6.8 grams.

Biface tool fragment from Level III (12 to 18 inches) beneath the surface of the soil fill in square F within the crevice. This artifact was in the same debris bag as the pebble.

Biface tool fragment, somewhat resembling a spokeshave, from Level III (12 to 18 inches) beneath the surface of the soil fill in square F within the crevice. This artifact was in the same debris bag as the pebble.

Flake scaper from Level IV (18 to 24 inches) beneath the surface of the soil fill in square B within the crevice.

Midsection from a biface excavated from Level I (0 to 6 inches) beneath the surface of the soil fill in square E within the crevice at Washington State Park.


Tip and midsection of a broken point that was excavated by Ron Wyatt in 1959 at a depth of 22 inches below the surface in test pit A; weight = 5.0 grams.



Galena cube that was excavated by Ron Wyatt in 1959 in test pit "C" at a depth of 14 to 20 inches below the surface in the crevice. Length = 1.23 cm, width = 1.29 cm, thickness = 1.02 cm and weight = 7.3 grams.



Angular piece of hematite that was excavated by Ron Wyatt in 1959 in test pit D, Level 1 (0 6 inches deep). Weight = 43.5 grams. 37 medium (fit in the palm of the hand) hematite specimens were excavated by Wyatt in 1959. The combined weigh of the 27 specimens is 1.94 kilograms = 4.27 pounds



Angular piece of Druse Quartz that was excavated by Ron Wyatt in 1959 in square B in level IV (31 - 35 inches below the surface of the crevice). Weight = 227.1 grams. Twelve medium (palm sized) druse quartz specimens were excavated from the crevice at 23WA1; their total weight is 1.99 kilograms = (4.38 pounds). Quartz druse was always found in the same artifact bags as the hematite, but a few artifact bags contained only hematite. The small sparkling crystals have a star-like quality. One Osage informant suggested to Eric Fuller (personal communication 2018) that the druse quart crystals resemble snow something that associates with Winter, death, and the underworld.



Angular piece of Druse Quartz that was excavated by Ron Wyatt in 1959 in square B, Level IV (18 24 inches). Weight = 107.4 grams.



Diabase celt excavated from the nearby site of 23WA23. Length = 10.87 cm, width = x 6.35 x 3.43 cm. Weight = 358.9 grams. Associated with the celt was a shell tempered bottle (neck broken) and a shell tempered pottery jar (two handled). The museum inventory registration esimates the date for the pottery pieces as AD 1200. Eleanor Chapman used this artifact as her inspiration for an illustration of the cutting the petroglyphs at Washington State Park (Chapman and Chapman 1964:88).


Heartfelt thanks to the Museum of Anthropology at the University of Missouri - Columbia for permission to study the artifacts excavated by Ron Wyatt in 1959 and a special appreciation to Jessica Boldt, Curator of the American Archaeology Division collection. Thanks to the Missouri Parks Department for permission to study and document the petroglyphs and Scallorn point discovered in 2017. Thank you to Ron Wyatt for sharing data and insights from the 1959 field season as well as to Neathery Fuller for countless hours in documenting artifacts, petroglyphs and pictographs.

Bibiography

Adams, Robert McCormick
1949 Archaeological Investigations in Jefferson County, Missouri. Missouri Archaeologist 11(3-4).

Bentz, Charles, Dale L. McElrath, Fred A. Finney, and Richard B. Lacampagne
1988 Late Woodland Sites in the American Botton Uplands. University of Illinois Press, Urbana.

Blake, Leonard W.
1942 A Hopewell-like Site near St. Louis. Missouri Archaeologist 8(1):2-7.
n.d. The Creve Coeur Lake Hopewell Site. Unpublished manuscript in possession of Richard Martens.

Chapman, Carl H.
1953 The Archaeological Survey of Missouri. Missouri Archaeologist 15(1-2).
1980 The Archaeology of Missouri, II. University of Missouri Press, Columbia.

Chapman, Carl H. and Eleanor F. Chapman
1964 Indians and Archaeology of Missouri. University of Missouri Press, Columbia.

Craig, Joseph and Susan Vorreyer
2004 The Cowmire Creek Site: A Havana Tradition Middle Woodland Period Habitation Site in St. Louis County, MO (23SL1056). Environmental Compliance Consultants, In., Springfield, Illinois.

DeRegnaucourt, Tony
1991 A Field Guide to the Prehistoric Point Types of Indiana and Ohio. Upper Miami Valley Archaeological Research Museum, Ansonia, Ohio.

Diesing, Eugene H.
1955 Archaeological Features in and around Washington State Park in Washington and Jefferson Counties, Missouri. Missouri Archaeologist 17(1).

Diesing, Eugene H. and Frank Magre
1942 Petroglyphs and Pictographs in Missouri. The Missouri Archaeologist. 8(1): 8-18.

Fortier, Andrew C., Thomas E. Emerson and Fred A. Finney
1984 Early Woodland and Middle Woodland Periods. in American Bottom Archaeology, University of Illinois Press, Urbana.

Fortier, Andrew C, Thomas O. Maher, Joyce A. Williams, Michael C. Meinkoth, Kathryn E. Parker and Lucretia S. Kelly
1989 The Holding Site: A Hopewell Community in the American Bottom. University of Illinois Press, Urbana.

Henning, Dale R. and James M. Collins
2009 The Big River Phase of the Eastern Ozarks Highlands. Missouri Archaeologist 70.

Johannessen, Sissel, Lucky A. Whalley, and George R. Milner
1984 The BBB Motor Site. University of Illinois Press, Urbana.

Kreslin, Richard O.
1964 Archaeological Implications of the Role of Salt as an Element of Cultural Diffusion. Missouri Archaeologist 26.

Milner, George R.
1983 The East St. Louis Stone Quarry Site Cemetery. University of Illinois Press, Urbana.

Ray, Jack H.
2016 Projectile Point Types in Missouri and Portions of Adjacent States. Missouri Archaeological Society, Springfield.

Sandstrom, Carl B. and Jack H. Ray
2004 A Point Identification Guide for Southwest Missouri. Ozarks Chapter of the Missouri Archaeological Society, Springfield.

Silverman, Thomas
1997 Lithic Analysis of the Creve Coeur Site (23SL20). Unpublished Senior Honors Thesis, Department of Anthropology - Washington University in St. Louis.

Wyatt, Ronald
1959 Summer Fieldwork at Washington State Park, Missouri. Missouri Archaeological Society Newsletter 134:7-10.
n.d. A Study of Three Petroglyph Sites along the Big River in the Eastern Ozark Highland of Missouri. Unpublished manuscript, Museum of Anthropology at the University of Missouri - Columbia.


Designed by Neathery and Michael Fuller,
St. Louis Community College
Webpage started 2 October 2002
Updated on 16 August 2020.