Dendrochronological Dating of a Burned Native American Structure at Fort Ouiatenon, Indiana

Author(s): Michael Strezewski; Darrin Rubino

Year: 2017


While dendrochronology has been used successfully to date standing historic period structures in the Midwest, its application in archaeological contexts has been limited. Recently, a large Native American structure was partially excavated from a village area adjacent to Fort Ouiatenon, in Tippecanoe County, Indiana. The wigwam-like structure was circular and 6.2 meters in diameter. Though Native American occupation of the Fort Ouiatenon vicinity is known from ca. 1709 through 1791, very few artifacts were found in association with the structure, making it quite difficult to determine its approximate occupation date. One item, however, that was found in abundance was charcoal, as the structure had burned down. Some of the fragments were relatively large, containing as many as 43 annual growth rings. Recent efforts at developing a preliminary dendrochronological sequence for Indiana have made it possible to estimate the construction date for this structure. Through crossdating (comparing the pattern of large and small tree rings in individual samples) a 43 year-long hickory and a 35 year-long maple chronology was developed. While additional data are still being collected in order to refine our estimates, preliminary results suggest that the structure was built in either 1776 or 1798.

Cite this Record

Dendrochronological Dating of a Burned Native American Structure at Fort Ouiatenon, Indiana. Michael Strezewski, Darrin Rubino. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429640)

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): 15899