14SC409

Located less than a mile south of the Scott County Pueblo14SC1, 14SC409 was first seriously investigated by a KATP crew in 2009. Red-slipped pottery was found on the surface, and they chose to excavate 18 1×1 m units at the site (see Hoard 2009 below).

Dismal River pottery, red-slipped Southwestern-like pottery, lithics, faunal remains, and Olivella dama shell beads (See Texas Beyond History article on marine shell beads here)  were recovered from the site but no hearths, roasting pits, or post holes were identified. Only a small portion of the site was tested, leading us to return to the site.

University of Iowa graduate student Amanda Bernemann with the first animal bone discovered in the 2013 season
University of Iowa graduate student Amanda Bernemann with the first animal bone discovered in the 2013 season

In 2013 and 2014, faculty and students from the University of Iowa and University of Oklahoma excavated a 2 x 3 meter excavation block and we found several post holes, Dismal River pottery, red slipped pottery, animal bone, charcoal, and lithic tools.

Animal bone collected during these excavations was AMS dated to between AD 1680 and 1730, which is supported by recovery of a French gunflint during the KATP excavations (dates to 1675 CE to 1800 CE, Hoard 2009). These new dates indicate that 14SC409 was likely occupied just during or after the abandonment of the pueblo at 14SC1.

What is even more interesting is that over 50% of the pottery from this site looks very similar to pottery made in the northern Rio Grande pueblos.

By examining the mineral and chemical composition of these ceramics, we determined that these “southwestern” ceramics were actually made in Kansas and represent locally made copies of Northern Rio Grande wares. This is especially exciting because this means that Puebloan women, likely living at the 14SC1 pueblo, taught their children how to make pottery using Puebloan styles and traditions. These descendants might have abandoned the pueblo and then moved to other sites like 14SC409, where they continued these traditions.

Red slipped pottery from 14SC409
Red slipped pottery from 14SC409

Interested in reading more? Check out these references:
Hoard, Robert J. 2009. Archaeological Survey of Scott State Park: 2009 Kansas Archaeology Training Program Field School. The Kansas Anthropologist 30:41-133.

 

Drone flying over 14SC409
Drone flying over 14SC409
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