White Cat Village (25HN37)

Harlan Lake
Harlan Lake

The White Cat Village (25HN37) site is located in Harlan County, Nebraska in the Harlan County Reservoir. The sites was first identified by a Smithsonian Institution River Basin Survey crew in 1946 and was excavated by a University of Nebraska field school several times starting in 1948 (see Champe 1949 reference below). Six houses were discovered, making it the largest Dismal River site found to date. A total of 200 features, including a bell-shaped roasting pit, were excavated over the nine year investigation yielding more than 10,000 artifacts.

The site was revisited by professional archaeologists in 1985 and charcoal was recovered that could be dated to either between AD 1444 – AD 1699 or AD 1721 – AD 1817. We believe that the presence of an iron hoe, brass jingle, gunflint, and diagnostic Dismal River ceramics puts the age of occupation in the second date range, meaning this might be one of the last sites occupied by Dismal River peoples in the region.

Dismal River rim sherd from Nebraska
Dismal River rim sherd from Nebraska

 

Interested in reading more? Check out this reference:

Champe, John L. 1949. White Cat Village. American Antiquity 14:4 (285-292).

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