Cherokee-Spanish Interactions in the Middle Nolichucky Valley, Tennessee, Revealed by Geophysics and Targeted Excavations
The Middle Nolichucky River in northeast Tennessee has been largely overlooked in Mississippian prehistoric narratives, but recent geophysical surveys and archaeological excavations at the Cane Notch site document a mid- to late- 16th century Cherokee Town with evidence of Spanish contact. Our multimethod approach includes sitewide magnetometry and a large portion covered with ground penetrating radar (GPR). Excavation of a house floor unearthed a rich assemblage of glass trade beads and pottery, and was dated to the mid- to late- 16th century. The house had burned rapidly and several pots appear to have been dropped during a hasty abandonment. A probable Spanish arquebus lead shot ball in the roof fall and other contact-era artifacts suggest contact with the Spanish. The site was featured in a documentary film, Secrets of the Nolichucky River, in 2017. A host of other pre-contact and contact-era sites are known along this stretch of the Nolichucky, one of which is the focus of our current work. Magnetometry, GPR, and electromagnetic induction (EMI) survey at Runion reveal a large village with multiple housing clusters, a large public structure, and possible fortifications. Excavations will take place at Runion this summer.
Cite this Record
Cherokee-Spanish Interactions in the Middle Nolichucky Valley, Tennessee, Revealed by Geophysics and Targeted Excavations. Eileen Ernenwein, Jay Franklin, Nathan Shreve. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 442506)
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min long: -93.735; min lat: 24.847 ; max long: -73.389; max lat: 39.572 ;
Abstract Id(s): 20575