Undergraduate archaeology students from SMSU place color flags next to stone and pottery artifacts on the surface of an archaeological site along the James River. The National Endowment of the Humanities awarded a Youthgrant in the Humanities for $10.230 to Southwest Missouri State University (now Missouri State University) during the summer of 1974 to carry out the James River Basin Archaeological Project. Michael J. Fuller served as project direct with assistance from faculty supervisors Professor John Northrip and Dr. Gerrit tenZythoff. The summer project undertook excavations at several prehistoric sites (23GR10, 23GR303, and 23WB60). The project also included a detailed site survey and ecological survey in Webster and Greene Counties, Missouri.



Testing was not done at the James River Site but at a nearby site called Lime Kiln spring (23GR303). A radiocarbon date from this site is 750+/-105 B.P. which equals AD 1200 +/- 105 (UGa886).



Small arrowpoints from 23GR341 near 23GR303.


San Patrice pt. (?) left and two biface preforms from 23GR341 near 23GR303.


Late Archaic basal notched point like a Smith point (left) and two corner notched points (center and right) from 23GR341 near 23GR303.


Two Archaic Side-Notched points (left and center) and a Folsom point (right) in a private collection from 23CN56.


Early Archaic Graham Cave Notched point from 23GR120.


Early Archaic Rice Lobed point from 23GR117.


Resharpened Clovis point from 23GR185.


Pitkin Chert artifacts found at various sites in the James River Valley. The source of this distinctive chert is over 100 miles west of the James River valley.


Full grooved axe from 23GR138.


Damaged full grooved axe from James River valley.


Macrophotograph of the damaged axe blade. Horizontal scratahces are from use while vertical scratches are from manufacture.


A narrow test trench was excavated by the James River Basin Archaeological Project into a small rockshelter (23WB60) in the headwaters of the James River drainage. Two radiocarbon dates were obtained from Horizon 3 in the cave. Charcoal from one firepit yielded a C-14 dates of 775+/-70 B.P. equal to AD 1175 +/- 70 (UGa-887). A second firepit yielded a C-14 date of 760+/-70 B. P. equal to AD 1190+/-60 (UGa-888).


Colored flags are placed next to fragments of artifacts and butchered animal bones including deer (Odocoileus virginianus), Eastern Cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus), and bear. Deer remains (maximum of 7 animals) represent 39% of the faunal sample, while rabbit (maximum of 5 animals) accounts for 28% of the identifiable bones.


Another aspects of the James River Archaeological Project was the identification and testing of historic archaeological sites associated with the early and mid 19th century lead mining industry along Pearson Creek. The result of this work was the nomination of the Pearson Creek Historic district. Many of the sites were destroyed during the 1980s by subdivision expansion on the east side of Springfield.
Webpage created November 22, 2006
Webpage updated May 26, 2009