Martens Site, 23SL222

One of the most significant archaeological sites in the St, Louis area is the Martens Site (23SL222) situated in the municipality of Chesterfield, Missouri.

This website is designed for use by school children, amateur archaeologists and professional archaeologists. Nothing of this site remains after the construction of new subdivisions and the realignment of Olive Street road by the Missouri Highway Department..

Images of the Clovis Points from the Martens Site..... ...............Click here to see digital images of the scrapers

Click here to see images of the blades....................................... ...............Click here to see images of the Dalton Points and Adzes

Dick Martens (Missouri Archaeological Society Treasurer) shown here with his grandson, recognized the unique natural of the Clovis occupation at the Martens Site. He brought the site to the attention of Julie Morrow (Washington University graduate student in Anthropology, now Dr. Morrow) who excavated at the site in 1997 to document the site's Clovis Culture tool technology. Dick Martens and several amateur archaeologists helped with the excavation. Neither bone nor charcoal was preserved in the soil matrix at the Martens Site, thus there is not a C-14 date on the occupation. The site can be estimated as around 9550 BC based upon parellels to other dated Clovis Sites.

Volunteer, amateur archaeologists from the Mound City Chapter of the Missouri Archaeological Society and students from Washington University worked side-by-side in an effort to document the site before its destruction.

The excavation was conducted in 1 x 1 meter units with all soil sieved through 1/4 inch mesh to recover waste flakes as well as artifacts. Artifacts were photographed and piece plotted in situ whenever possible. Careful attention was paid to the soil matrix in hopes of finding bone or charcoal samples.

The excavation strategy at the Martens site was to take a number of adjacent squares down to the Clovis occupation surface and that goal was accomplished.

Any evidence for the Clovis occupation at the Martens Site has been erased by housing subdivisions constructed during 2003.

This bibliography is not exhaustive, but lists some of the relevant publications dealing with the Martens Site:

Koldehoff, Brad, Juliet E. Morrow, Toby A. Morrow, and Richard Martens
1995 The Martens site (23SL222):A Clovis Occupation in St. Louis County, Missouri. Current Research in the Pleistocene 12:24-26

Leach, Mark W.
2002 A Guide to Chesterfield's Ancient History. Privaitely printed.

Martens, Richard E.
1976 "Indians" in Heritage of the Creve Coeur Area. Edited by G. Dalton. Pp. 26-39. City of Creve Coeur, Missouri.
2001 Identification of Clovis End scrapers from the Martens Site (23SL222). Missouri Archaeological Society Quarterly 18(4):4-9
2004 The Surface Collection from the Martens Site, 23SL222. (with Brad Koldehoff, Julie E. Morrow and Toby A. Morrow as co-authors). The Missouri Archaeologist 65:1 - 43.

Morrow, Julie
1996 The Organization of Early Paleo-Indian Lithic Technology in the Confluence region of the Mississippi, Illinois, and Missouri Rivers. Unpublished Ph. D. dissertation, Washington University, Department of Anthropology.
1998 Excavations at the Martens Site, 23SL222. Missouri Archaeological Society Quarterly 15(1):4-7.
2000 A Clovis Camp at the Martens Site. Central States Archaeological Journal 47(2):84

O'Brien, Michael J. and W. Raymond Wood
1998 The Prehistory of Missouri. University of Missouri Press, Columbia.

Special thanks to Mr. Richard Martens who discussed the site with me and allowed me to photograph the artifacts in his home. Thanks to Ettus Hiatt for who work in proofreading my webpages.

Webpage constructed 4 July 2003
Webpage Updated 8 September 2009