Archaeological Test Excavations at the Cutright #2 Site (12MO173), Monroe Reservoir, Monroe County, Indiana

Part of the Cutright #2 Site (12MO173) 1987 project

Author(s): Jeffery A. Myers; Patrick J. Munson

Year: 1987


The report, entitled Archaeological Test Excavations at the Cutright #2 Site (12MO173), Monroe Reservoir, Monroe County, Indiana, presented the results of the test excavations at the Cutright #2 Site (12MO173) at Monroe Reservoir, Monroe County, Indiana. The Glenn A. Black Laboratory of Archaeology, Indiana University, in contract with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Division of Reservoirs, undertook investigations at the site in order to evaluate the archaeological significance of the site and to determine its eligibility for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places. Fieldwork consisted of the author from July 7 to July 30, 1986. Dr. Patrick J. Munson was the Principal Investigator.

The report described the setting of the project area, previous archaeological investigations, the fieldwork methods utilized in test excavations, findings, and recommendations. The Cutright #2 Site contained abundant Middle-Late Archaic period artifacts, but most appeared to be confined to the surface and plow zone. Results of the investigations indicated site 12MO173 lacked sufficient integrity of preservation to merit nomination to the National Register.

Test excavations undertaken at the Cutright #2 Site (12MO173) failed to confirm the presence of undisturbed archaeological deposits. Although a prehistoric pit was discovered at the site in 1985, test excavations of 816 sq. ft. in the artifactually densest areas did not reveal additional evidence of intact subplowzone deposits. The surface and plowzone, however, contained abundant cultural debris, consisting primarily of fire-cracked rocks, chert debitage, and a variety of stone tools. The main occupation of the site appeared to be attributable to the French Lick Phase of the Late Archaic Period dating from 3,000 to 1,500 B.C. (C. Munson 1980). Artifacts recovered during the testing suggested a repeatedly occupied hunting-butchering and lithic manufacturing activity area.

The initial proposal for assessment of 12MO173 was based on the assumption that the “core area” of the site laid at the western end of the peninsular terrace remnant and encompassed about 10,200 sq. ft. A total of 510 sq. ft. of trenches (Trenches 1, 2, and 3) were excavated in this portion of the site, exposing approximately 5% of this western core area; no evidence of subplowzone cultural deposits was found in these trenches. However, shovel probing demonstrated that the total site area exceeds 80,000 sq. ft., including a ca. 20,000 sq. ft. concentration of materials at the highest central portion of the peninsula and a ca. 5,000 sq. ft. concentration of rocks in the eastern area of the site. Trenches 4 and 5, with an aggregate area of 201 sq. ft., sampled about 1 percent of the central area. Trench 6 (105 sq. ft.) sampled 2.1 percent of the eastern area. Although the percentages sampled for the latter two areas are low, they would nevertheless seem adequate to conclude that subplowzone features, if present at all, occurred in very low densities.

Based on the results of testing, it appeared that site 12MO173 lacked sufficient integrity of preservation to merit nomination to the National Register of Historic Places. Artifactual materials, while densely concentrated on some parts of the site, appeared to be confined to the agriculturally disturbed upper soil layer. The densest portion of the site occupation is at the highest area and has not yet been impacted by erosion, unauthorized collecting activity, or construction of facilities. It was recommended that if this portion of the site becomes threatened, it should be monitored by professional archaeologists to better assess its archaeological significance and eligibility for the National Register (Myers and Munson 1987).

Cite this Record

Archaeological Test Excavations at the Cutright #2 Site (12MO173), Monroe Reservoir, Monroe County, Indiana. Jeffery A. Myers, Patrick J. Munson. 1987 ( tDAR id: 402786) ; doi:10.6067/XCV83J3FZQ

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -86.585; min lat: 38.973 ; max long: -86.234; max lat: 39.142 ;


General Note: The digital materials in this collection were processed by the Veterans Curation Program (VCP) and include the finding aid, select artifact photographs, artifact database, oversized material database, scanned asset key, and the artifact report. Additional digital materials held by the VCP include the additional artifact photographs, documents folder listing, photographic material database, records removal sheet, box inventory, cardstock inserts, oversized labels, initial data collection and a test excavations report. For additional information on these materials, refer to the Finding Aid.

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