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Fur Trade Archaeology at the Ouiatenon Preserve: The 2016/2017 Geophysical Investigations

Author(s): Michael Strezewski ; Robert G. McCullough

Year: 2017

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Summary

The contents of this report describe the results of geophysical survey on the recently-established Ouiatenon Preserve, located southwest of Lafayette, Indiana, in Tippecanoe County. This project was co-directed by Dr. Michael Strezewski (University of Southern Indiana) and Dr. Robert G. McCullough (Illinois State Archaeological Survey), with financial support from the National Park Service Historic Preservation Fund, administered through the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology.

The Ouiatenon Preserve, which was recently established through the efforts of the Tippecanoe County Historical Association (TCHA) and the Archaeological Conservancy (TAC), includes properties containing the archaeological remains of Fort Ouiatenon and a number of Kickapoo and Mascouten villages that contemporary documents indicate were once in the vicinity of the fort. Fort Ouiatenon was founded by the French in 1717 and was the first permanent European establishment in the present state of Indiana. During the time of the fort’s existence and thereafter, Native American peoples from the Wea, Kickapoo, and Mascouten tribes resided within a number of villages in the immediate area.

Archaeological investigations at Fort Ouiatenon began in 1968 and continued through 1979. This work, however, focused largely on the fort proper, with little attention paid to the archaeological remains of the Native American villages. The present project then, is an attempt to better understand the nature, extent, and integrity of the surrounding Native American village sites, utilizing geophysical survey to cover broad areas of the Preserve in a relatively short period of time. This season’s work is a continuation of a task that began in 2009, with additional fieldwork conducted in 2012/2013. The work conducted in 2016/2017 was critical, as plans are in place to reestablish prairie vegetation over much of the Ouiatenon Preserve, which would severely limit our ability to conduct geophysical survey in the near future.

During the 2016/2017 work at the Ouiatenon Preserve, we investigated a total of six previously-recorded archaeological sites: 12-T-9, 12-T-25, 12-T-240, 12-T-336, 12-T-352, and 12-T-421. All six sites were surveyed with a magnetometer, with a total of 6.8 hectares covered (16.8 acres). Especially promising anomalies, as defined by the magnetometry data, were surveyed with the resistivity meter. Resistivity survey was conducted on sites 12-T-9, 12-T-25, 12-T-336, and 12-T-421, with a total of 1.64 hectares (4.05 acres) covered. Finally, a small area (0.22 hectares [0.54 acres]) of sites 12-T-9 and 12-T-240 was surveyed with electromagnetic induction, in order to test the results against those of the magnetometer.

The results of the survey indicate the location and probable presence of intact subsurface remains in a number of areas. Probable pits, structures, and/or thermal features were identified at a number of the sites. The magnetometry and resistivity results were particularly useful in this regard, while the limited electromagnetic survey was less useful, due to undetermined obstacles in collecting interference-free data. Subsurface testing is necessary to confirm the results of our survey. The results of the USI/ISAS survey can be used by the TCHA/TAC in the context of their efforts to restore the Preserve to prairie and develop the area for public use.


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Cite this Record

Fur Trade Archaeology at the Ouiatenon Preserve: The 2016/2017 Geophysical Investigations. Michael Strezewski, Robert G. McCullough. USI Archaeology Laboratory, Reports of Investigations 16-03. Evansville, Indiana: University of Southern Indiana. 2017 ( tDAR id: 436168) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8W37ZHC


Keywords


Temporal Coverage

Calendar Date: 1700 to 1800


Spatial Coverage

min long: -86.99; min lat: 40.388 ; max long: -86.956; max lat: 40.43 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Michael Strezewski

Principal Investigator(s): Robert G. McCullough


File Information

  Name Size Creation Date Date Uploaded Access
03-Strezewski-and-McCullough-2017---Ouiatenon-geophysical-surv... 44.62mb May 1, 2017 Jun 7, 2017 8:20:14 AM Confidential
The contents of this report describe the results of geophysical survey on the recently-established Ouiatenon Preserve, located southwest of Lafayette, Indiana, in Tippecanoe County. This project was co-directed by Dr. Michael Strezewski (University of Southern Indiana) and Dr. Robert G. McCullough (Illinois State Archaeological Survey), with financial support from the National Park Service Historic Preservation Fund, administered through the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology. The Ouiatenon Preserve, which was recently established through the efforts of the Tippecanoe County Historical Association (TCHA) and the Archaeological Conservancy (TAC), includes properties containing the archaeological remains of Fort Ouiatenon and a number of Kickapoo and Mascouten villages that contemporary documents indicate were once in the vicinity of the fort. Fort Ouiatenon was founded by the French in 1717 and was the first permanent European establishment in the present state of Indiana. During the time of the fort’s existence and thereafter, Native American peoples from the Wea, Kickapoo, and Mascouten tribes resided within a number of villages in the immediate area. Archaeological investigations at Fort Ouiatenon began in 1968 and continued through 1979. This work, however, focused largely on the fort proper, with little attention paid to the archaeological remains of the Native American villages. The present project then, is an attempt to better understand the nature, extent, and integrity of the surrounding Native American village sites, utilizing geophysical survey to cover broad areas of the Preserve in a relatively short period of time. This season’s work is a continuation of a task that began in 2009, with additional fieldwork conducted in 2012/2013. The work conducted in 2016/2017 was critical, as plans are in place to reestablish prairie vegetation over much of the Ouiatenon Preserve, which would severely limit our ability to conduct geophysical survey in the near future. During the 2016/2017 work at the Ouiatenon Preserve, we investigated a total of six previously-recorded archaeological sites: 12-T-9, 12-T-25, 12-T-240, 12-T-336, 12-T-352, and 12-T-421. All six sites were surveyed with a magnetometer, with a total of 6.8 hectares covered (16.8 acres). Especially promising anomalies, as defined by the magnetometry data, were surveyed with the resistivity meter. Resistivity survey was conducted on sites 12-T-9, 12-T-25, 12-T-336, and 12-T-421, with a total of 1.64 hectares (4.05 acres) covered. Finally, a small area (0.22 hectares [0.54 acres]) of sites 12-T-9 and 12-T-240 was surveyed with electromagnetic induction, in order to test the results against those of the magnetometer. The results of the survey indicate the location and probable presence of intact subsurface remains in a number of areas. Probable pits, structures, and/or thermal features were identified at a number of the sites. The magnetometry and resistivity results were particularly useful in this regard, while the limited electromagnetic survey was less useful, due to undetermined obstacles in collecting interference-free data. Subsurface testing is necessary to confirm the results of our survey. The results of the USI/ISAS survey can be used by the TCHA/TAC in the context of their efforts to restore the Preserve to prairie and develop the area for public use.

Accessing Restricted Files

At least one of the files for this resource is restricted from public view. For more information regarding access to these files, please reference the contact information below

Contact(s): Michael Strezewski

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America