Fort Ancient (A.D. 1350-1450) Domestic Rituals of the Middle Ohio Valley

Author(s): David Pollack; Gwynn Henderson

Year: 2017


In many parts of the world, the construction and maintenance of a domestic dwelling is often accompanied by rituals intended to bless the house, appease the ancestors, or please the spirit world. Within the Fort Ancient (A.D. 1000-1750) area of the middle Ohio River Valley, as evidenced at Fox Farm, a large Fort Ancient village in north-central Kentucky, such rituals may take the form of objects (pipes, shell or bone pendants, marginella shell beads, drilled deer toe bones [cup and pin game], projectile points, discoidals, and ceramics) placed in the holes dug for exterior structural wall posts or interior roof support posts, and concentrations of animal bones (deer jaw mandibles or bear tibia) placed along the edge of a house basin. Other rituals are represented by sacred pole-pits that contain portions of ceramic vessels, animal bones, and plant remains deposited after the pole was removed but before the pit was sealed. In this paper, we examine the contextual association of these materials within houses at Fox Farm that were occupied during and after the Fort Ancient Transformation (A.D. 1375-1425) for how they may inform our understanding of Fort Ancient ritual life.

Cite this Record

Fort Ancient (A.D. 1350-1450) Domestic Rituals of the Middle Ohio Valley. David Pollack, Gwynn Henderson. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429198)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -104.634; min lat: 36.739 ; max long: -80.64; max lat: 49.153 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16710