Hazelwood Site (23SL1056)

Several students trained at St. Louis Community College worked on the Hazelwood Site rescue excavation.

An archaeologist shovel skims the soil looking for the telltale signs of discoloration and artifacts that indicate the presence of a Middle Woodland Period pit feature.

Several pit features being actively excavated on one day by a team of approximately a dozen archaeologists. The site may consists of approximately 500 pits features dating the Middle Woodland Period.

The traditional method of excavating a trash filled pit feature is to section the pit along its widest axis.

After it was sectioned, then the pit was carefully profiled using metric measurements.

All soil fill from a pit feature was water screened.

One bucket of dirt can take several minutes to water screen.

Some pit features, like this one, may contain significant amounts of calcined (burnt) limestone.

The rescue excavation documented 457 cultural features in 12 defined clusters.

Closeup showing the non-random distribution pattern of pits along the west margin of the excavated area.

Results of 5 radiocarbon dates:

Beta 188961 = Hackberry, Ash, and Oak charcoal
cal C-14 AD 70 to 230

Beta 188962 = Ash, American Elm, White Oak charcoal
cal C-14 AD 240 to 400

Beta 188963 = Hickory, Poplar and Ash charcoal
cal C-14 BC 190 to 40

Beta 188964 = Oak charcoal and nutshell
cal C-14 BC 350 to 310 and 210 to 50

Beta 188965 = Hackberry, Maple, Hickory, Black walnut shell, and Hazel nutshell
cal C-14 AD 130 to 340

Analysis of macrobotanical remains by Kathryn E. Parker

Cluster 3, dominant wood taxon - ash, dominant nut taxon = hickory, dominant seed taxon = maygrass

Cluster 5, dominant wood taxon - ash, dominant nut taxon = hazelnut, dominant seed taxon = chenopod and little barley

Cluster 6, dominant wood taxon - ash, dominant nut taxon = hickory, dominant seed taxon = little barley

Cluster 9, dominant wood taxon - ash, dominant nut taxon = hazelnut, dominant seed taxon = chenopod

Cluster 11, dominant wood taxon - ash, dominant nut taxon = acorn, dominant seed taxon = chenopod

Summary of Nutshells from flotation

Hickory 25.17%
Hazelnut 32.75%
Hickory/walnut 32.15%
Black walnut 2.5%
Acorn 7.43%

Summary of Identified seeds from flotation

Amaranthus spp. (pigweed) 0.29%
Andropogon spp. (bluestem/broomsedge) 0.87%
Chenpodoium berlandieri (chenopod) 33.58%
Cyperaceae (sedge family) 0.15%
Diospyros virginiana (persimmon) 0.73%
Euphorbia maculata 0.29%
Festuca 0.44%
Fragaria 0.15%
Galium sp. (bedstraw) 3.05%
Heliainthus annuus (sunflower) 0.29%
Hordem pusillum (little barley) 27.18%
Ilex decidua 0.15%
Phalaris caroliniana (maygrass) 17.73%
Poaceae (grass family) 4.07%
Polygonum spp. (smartweed) 0.29%
Polygonum erectum (erect knotweed) 6.25%
Prunus (cherry) 0.15%
Rhus (sumac) 0.58%
Sambucus canadensis (elderberry) 1.16%
Sicyos angulatus (prickly cucumber) 0.29%
Solanum ptycanthum (black nightshade) 0.29%
Vitis spp. (grape) 1.74%

also, 6 small fragments of Cucurbita pepo (squash/pumpkin)

Faunal Analysis by Terrance J. Martin

Mammals: White-tailed deer (dominant identified species), eastern cotton-tail, fox squirrel, and tree squirrel

Birds: Pied-billed greve, Duck, wild turkey

Repticles: Semi-aquatic pond turtle (dominant identified species), painted turtle, and eastern box turtle.

Fish: Bullhead catfish, channel catfish, and freshwater drum.

Fragment of large mammal bone found during screening of the pit feature fill. Cut marks can be seen along the left edge of the bone.

Webpage constructed February 2003
Webpage modified October 2005