Archaeological and Geological Investigations at the Coffey Site, Tuttle Creek Lake, Kansas, Coffey Site 1970-1975

Part of the Coffey Site 1970-1975 project

Author(s): Larry J. Schmits

Year: 1981


Coffey is a complex of prehistoric campsites located along the Big Blue River in the Prairie Plains of northeastern Kansas. Archaeological and geological investigations document a long series of Holocene fluvial and cultural deposits. Five major periods of deposition (Units I through V) are identified at the site. Based on surface collections and excavated material a cultural sequence consisting of Paleo-Indian, repeated Archaic and possible Late Woodland occupations has been established for the site. It is concluded that the sedimentary units of Coffey represent a series channel cutting and filling episodes resulting from the meandering of paleochannels of the Big Blue River into the site.

Archaeological Investigations at Locality I document the presence of several additional Black Vermillion phase occupations in Unit III. Materials recovered include a large assemblage of features, chipped stone tools, faunal remains and carbonized seeds. Archaeological investigations at Locality II indicate the presence of a stratified series of Walnut phase components. Features, lithic tools and faunal remains were recovered from these deposits.

The Late Archaic cultural deposits at Coffey are compared with other sites in the Tuttle Creek area, Snyder in the EI Dorado Lake area and Williamson in the John Redmond Lake vicinity. A tripartite Late Archaic phase sequence is proposed for eastern Kansas consisting of the Black Vermillion phase (ca. 5000 B.P.), El Dorado phase (3500 B.P.), and the Walnut phase (2000-2500 B.P.). The available evidence indicates that Late Archaic adaptation in eastern Kansas was round on resources from the grassland, riparian and aquatic biotic communities of small and medium river valleys.

Cite this Record

Archaeological and Geological Investigations at the Coffey Site, Tuttle Creek Lake, Kansas, Coffey Site 1970-1975. Larry J. Schmits. 1981 ( tDAR id: 437697) ; doi:10.6067/XCV82R3VCT

Spatial Coverage

min long: -96.759; min lat: 39.347 ; max long: -96.216; max lat: 39.707 ;

Record Identifiers

Contract No.(s): C3510 (74)


General Note: The digital materials in this collection were processed by the Veterans Curation Program (VCP), and include artifact catalogs, finding aid, and original investigation report. Additional digital materials held by the VCP include additional artifact catalogs, notes, preliminary report, project reports, project table, and a proposal. For additional information on these materials, refer to the finding aid.

File Information

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Contact(s): US Army Corps of Engineers Mandatory Center of Expertise for the Curation and Management of Archaeological Collections, St. Louis District