Mendenhall Village Site (23BO86)

Research at the Mendenhall village site was conducted by Dr. Earl Lubensky on behalf of the Missouri Archaeological Society.

A flag survey, marking surface artifacts, was conducted during June 1983 at the Mendenhall Village Site.

Start of excavation during June 1983 at the Mendenhall Village Site.

Margo uses a string grid to record soil color patterns during June 1983 at the Mendenhall Village Site.

Profile showing the contact between the plowzone and undisturbed soil during June 1983.

Features 1, 2 and 3 exposed during June 1983.

Features 5 exposed during July 1983. Margaret and Mike Fisher carefully exposed the stone platform.

Features 5 exposed during July 1983. Earl Lubensky interprets this feature as the floor of a sweat lodge. The stones showed evidence of being heated. The absence of charcoal and absence of a pit feature make it unlikely that this feature was a cooking feature.

Features 5 being drawn.

Features 5 fully excavated.

Features 4 exposed during June 1983 is a burial with associated pottery.

Chipped stone arrowpoints from the Mendenhall Village site.

Chert debris from 23BO86.

A scraper and blades from 23BO86.

Members of the Missouri Archaeological Society help wash and process artifacts and debitage from the excavation at the Mendenhall Village Site.

Intact pottery vessel found in association with the burial. This specimen could be classified as Boone Cordmarked.

Drs. Ralph Rowlett (left) and Earl Lubensky (right) at the Mendenhall Village Site.

Dr. Carl Chapman at the Mendenhall Village Site.

Dr. Michael O'Brien (right) at the Mendenhall Village Site.

Mendenhall Village site is a multi-component site with definite occupation during the Late Archaic Period and the Late Woodland Period. There is evidence of Paleo-Indian and Archaic occupation, especially in southern portion of site. Some of the arrowpoints belong to the Late Woodland Period while others could be classified as belonging to the Missississippi Period.

A single radiocarbon date from the site was designed to date the burial. The date was calculated as AD 1030 - 1300 at the 2 sigma. The burial at 23BO86 may have been in haste with abandonment of site imminent in face of dramatic movements.

Excavation of the site began in 1983 and continued in 1985. Initially six squares (5 by 5 ft.) were identified, flagged and surface collected. Five features identified by excavation the combined Feature (1,2, and 3 combined), Feature 4 (a burial), and Feature 5 (a rock platform). The excavation season in 1985 was designed to verify the nature of Feature 5.

Analysis of carbonized nutshells indicate the use of walnut, pecan group, chestnut, hickory, and hazelnut. Other wood charcoal include Oak, Elm, Honey Locust, Sycamore, Beech, Ash, Sumac, and Hackberry. Seeds of weedy plants include Purslane, Goosefoot, Amaranth, Grasses, Canary Grass, Mullein, Buckwheat, Knot Weed, some corn (Zea Mays).

Animal bone analysis include small fish, rodent teeth, mammal bone, and snail shell.

Note: Many thanks to Dr. Earl Lubensky for loaning the slides that were digitized for this webpage, and for his insightful explanation into the site.


Lubensky, Earl H.
1983a MAS field exercise: Part I, Introduction Missouri Archaeological Society Newsletter 371-372: 7 - 13.

1983b MAS field exercise: Part II. Missouri Archaeological Society Newsletter 375-376: 6 - 9.

1983c MAS field exercise: Part III. Missouri Archaeological Society Newsletter 375-376: 3 - 5.

1984 MAS Field Exercise: Part IV 1986. Missouri Archaeological Society Quarterly 1(1): 6 - 7.

2007 Report on the Mendenhall Sites Excavations of 1983, 1985, and 1986 in Boone County, Missouri. Paper presented at the "Woodland Period in Missouri Symposium" held in Arrow Rock State Historic Site on 8 September 2007

Webpage constructed 27 September 2007