Identifying Subterranean Storage Features: A Cautionary Tale

Author(s): Kathryn Frederick

Year: 2018


Recent research in northern lower Michigan systematically tested the ability to identify subterranean food storage features using surface criteria. Subterranean storage features were used during the late Late Woodland period (AD 1200-1600) in parts of the Michigan Inland Waterway. Such cache features prolong the availability of food stuffs and mitigate against the risk of food shortage. This paper discusses the research methodology required for identifying such features. While many are identifiable by their symmetrical circular depression, and apparent spatial clustering, an insufficient number have been ground truthed. Recent fieldwork revealed that identifying subsurface features may be more elusive than believed. Excavation of suspected cache pits resulted in negative results, leading to a re-evaluation of the sampling criteria and methodology, and resulting in a multi-disciplinary approach employing the soil sciences to create a more efficient ground truthing strategy. This presentation discusses the necessity for reliable and efficient ground truthing, and provides a refined multi-disciplinary sampling methodology.

Cite this Record

Identifying Subterranean Storage Features: A Cautionary Tale. Kathryn Frederick. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 444096)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -103.975; min lat: 36.598 ; max long: -80.42; max lat: 48.922 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 20799