Archaeological Excavations in the Patoka Lake Reservoir, Patoka Lake Excavations (12DU7 and 12DU8) 1976

Author(s): James R. Denbow

Year: 2012


This report describes the results of six weeks of archaeological test excavation undertaken at two rockshelters, Kitchen Rock (Du 8) and Saltpeter Cave (Du 7), located within the boundaries of the Fatoka Reservoir in eastern Dubois County, Indiana (Fig. 1). Though both shelters are situated above the proposed high water level of the reservoir and are not directly endangered by the construction of the dam, they are within proposed recreational areas and testing was recommended after the initial archaeological survey because of their archaeological potential and the increased opportunity for uncontrolled digging or other forms of abuse which might result from their close proximity to the lake (Beilis 1968). Test excavations to assess the significance of the archaeological deposits in these shelters were begun in May 1975 and were financed through the National Park Service (contract number Inter CS6000-5-0184) Initial fears of damage and abuse were not unfounded and both sites were observed to have been severely disturbed by private collectors since public acquisition of the land. Nearly three-fourths of Kitchen Rock has been potted since the last visit to the site in January, 1973. In addition, approximately half of the potentially excavatable area of Saltpeter Cave has been destroyed by unknown individuals. It was initially hoped that the close proximity and similar physiographic contexts of the two sites would provide unique comparative materials 2 relevant to understanding prehistoric resource utilization patterns in the Crawford Uplands* Given the extent of disturbance at the two sites, however, these research objectives have had to be modified since excavation to simply include: a) a description of the archaeological materials recovered and cultural components represented, and b) an evaluation of the present significance of the sites in terras of National Register of Historic Places criteria.

Cite this Record

Archaeological Excavations in the Patoka Lake Reservoir, Patoka Lake Excavations (12DU7 and 12DU8) 1976. James R. Denbow. Bloomington, IN: Glenn A. Black Laboratory of Archaeology, Indiana University. 2012 ( tDAR id: 425959) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8M61NCG

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -87.404; min lat: 37.501 ; max long: -85.762; max lat: 38.69 ;

Record Identifiers

Contract No. (s): CS6000-5-0184


General Note: The digital materials in this collection were processed by the Veteran’s Curation Program (VCP), and include archival photographs, finding aid, original investigation report, oversized materials spreadsheet, photographic materials spreadsheet, and scanned asset key. Additional digital materials held by the VCP include budget documents, contracts, correspondence, document folder listing, maps, oversized material labels, progress reports, records removal sheet, and sketches. For additional information on these materials, refer to the finding aid.

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