Archaeological Data Recovery at the Leake Site, Bartow County, Georgia (vol. 1)

Part of the Leake Site, Bartow County, Georgia (DRAFT) project

Author(s): Scot Keith

Year: 2010


Southern Research, Historic Preservation Consultants, Inc. conducted two archaeological data recovery excavations at the Leake site between 2004 and 2006. The first excavation, from November 2004 through September 2005, was carried out for the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) to mitigate the adverse impacts to the site from the proposed widening of State Routes 61 and 113. A second smaller data recovery, carried out in December of 2006, was done for the Bartow County Water Department in advance of a water line relocation. Approximately 50,000 square feet of the site were excavated. The collections, notes and records are curated at the Antonio J. Waring, Jr. Archaeological Laboratory, University of West Georgia, Carrollton. The analysis and reporting for both excavations is combined herein.

The Leake site near Cartersville, Georgia was a ceremonial center and a gateway community between the Southeast and the Midwest during the Middle Woodland period. Situated in the floodplain of the Etowah River in the Great Valley at the interface of several primary river valleys, Leake displays strong

Hopewellian interregional connections. Originally recorded as 9BR2, and encompassing sites 9BR662, 9BR663, 9BR664, 9BR665, 9BR666, 9BR667, and 9BR668, this large site (at a minimum 15 acres) consists of the remains of at least three earthen mounds, a circular ditch enclosure, midden deposits, structures, and features indicative of domestic and ceremonial activities. Temporal components include a late Early Woodland through Middle Woodland occupation dating from 300 B.C. until 650 A.D. and a Late Mississippian occupation dating to the time of European contact and exploration. Because the Late Mississippian component was not present in our excavations, this report focuses only on the Woodland component. Several archaeological sites on nearby Ladds Mountain (9BR17, 9BR24, and 9BR194) were found to be integrally related to the Leake Site; taken together, these sites reveal that Leake was an extensive Middle Woodland ceremonial complex (at a minimum 500 acres).

The Middle Woodland artifact assemblage at the Leake Site is dominated by Cartersville and Swift Creek series ceramics, and it also contains local and non-local items, including human and animal ceramic figurines, Ohio Flint Ridge chert prismatic blades, modified quartz crystals, celts, gorgets, plummets, mica, graphite, galena, hematite, and copper. Some of these materials provide connections to the Lower Mississippi Valley, Atlantic Coastal Plain, Gulf Coastal Plain, Tennessee River Valley, and the Midwest; a direct connection between Leake and the Mann site in southwestern Indiana is indicated through petrographic analysis of Swift Creek Complicated Stamped pottery. Among the issues addressed through the Leake data are feasting; regional and interregional interaction; craft production; architecture and activity areas; social roles and leadership; and monumental earthwork construction and usage.

Cite this Record

Archaeological Data Recovery at the Leake Site, Bartow County, Georgia (vol. 1). Scot Keith. 2010 ( tDAR id: 376155) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8FX78QT

Spatial Coverage

min long: -84.875; min lat: 34.128 ; max long: -84.826; max lat: 34.167 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Principal Investigator(s): Scot Keith; W. Dean Wood

Submitted To(s): Georgia Department of Transportation

File Information

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keith---leake-site-data-recovery-report-vol-1.pdf 30.84mb Jun 20, 2012 8:30:06 AM Confidential

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