J. Mett Shippee (wearing white hat) talked with
Kenneth Reid (back to camera) during the 1976 rescue excavation at the Nebo Hill site (23CL11).
The site was
excavated ahead of the construction of Missouri Highway 210. The rescue excavation would
yield two very significant results: a firm radiocarbon date for the site and evidence of
very early use of ceramics. The uncorrected radiocarbon date from a nutshell sample found in a
pit feature is 1605 BC +/- 65 (Reid 1984:12); this date was several thousand years
later than the estimated age of the site by J. Mett Shippee. The pottery sample was small
(3 fiber tempered rimsherds and 19 fiber tempered bodysherds) but they represent the earliest
pottery documented in the State of Missouri. The slide of the Nebo Hill excavation was
taken by Michael Fisher and digitized by Michael Fuller.
Length = 144.0 mm, width = 28.4 mm, thickness = 10.2 mm and weight = 45.0 grams.
Length = 81.3 mm, width = 19.0 mm, thickness = 11.3 mm, and weight = 16.9 grams.
Length = 92.5 mm, width = 23.3 mm, thickness = 9.8 mm, weight = 19.6 grams.
Length = 83.9 mm, width = 16.9 mm, thickness = 11.7 mm, and weight = 15.7 grams.
Length = 72.7 mm, width = 19.7 mm, thickness = 9.8 mm, and weight = 13.8 grams. J. Mett Shippee left a note that only 2% of the type points have a concave base.
Heavily resharpened point. Length = 63.5 mm, width = 27.3 mm, thickness = 7.9 mm, weight = 14.9 grams.
Length = 84.8 mm, width = 26.3 mm, thickness = 6.6 mm, and weight = 14.2 grams.
Unfinished point (base straight - not narrowed); Length = 85.0 mm, width = 25.5 mm, thickness = 11.1 mm, and weight = 21.8 grams.
Length = 98.1 mm, width = 22.3 mm, thickness = 10.5 mm, and weight = 19.1 grams.
Several artifacts discovered by J. Mett Shippee at the Nebo Hill site are displayed in the exhibit of the
St. Joseph Museum. The following Nebo Hill points and a mano/metate are on display in the museum.
An India ink note on the mano indicates that is was discovered by Shippee on 29 February 1936.
iest published description of the
Nebo Hill site was published in 1948
by J. Mett Shippee in "Nebo Hilll, a lithic complex in western Missouri"
American Antiquity 14:29-32. He wrote more about the site in "Archaeological remains in
the area of Kansas City: Paleo-Indians and the Archaic Period"
Society Research Series 2, 1964.
Other publications about Nebo Hill include:
O'Brien, Michael J. and and W. Raymond Wood
1998 The Prehistory of Missouri. University
of Missouri Press.
Reid, Kenneth C.
1983 "The Nebo Hill Phase: Late Archaic Prehistory in the Lower Missouri Valley."
in Archaic Hunters and Gatherers in the American Midwest. Academic Press, New York.
1984a "Fire and Ice: New Evidecne for the Production and preservation of Late Archaic
Fiber-Tempered Pottery in the Mid-Latitude lowland." American Antiquity 49:59-76.
1984b "Nebo Hill and Late Archaic Prehistory on the Southern Prairie Peninsula" University
of Kansas Publications in Anthropology 15
Root, M. J.
1978 "The Paleoethnobotany of the Nebo Hill Site." Plains Anthropologist 24(85):239-247.
1990 "Discoveries at Nebo Hill." The Kansas City Archaeologist Special Bulletin 2:83-90.
Special thanks to Mike Fisher (President Emeritus of the Missouri Archaeological Society) for discussing the site with me and allowing me to photograph his slide of the site. Many thanks to Sarah Elder, curator of the St. Joseph Museums, for permission to work with the collections from Nebo Hill site.
Webpage constructed on 6 July 2003
Webpage revised on 20 August 2013