Jerrel C. Anderson
Vienna, West Virginia
It was my good fortune to live in Circleville, Ohio, from 1967 to 1977, when farmers were still tilling their fields with mold-board plows, and this, in combination with rains and friendly farmers, allowed for wonderful conditions for surface hunting fields for ancient artifacts. Some of those friendly farm families owned and tilled properties now part of the Hopewell Culture National Historical Park. I was granted permission to walk their fields under outstanding conditions and found a number of fine artifacts. The provenance for each is accurately known and because of this the Park was willing to accept them into their collections. I donated them in 2017.
The artifacts are shown front and back in Figures 1 and 2. Some are Hopewell and some are earlier and later artifact types. A key to the artifacts is shown in Figure 3.
Point A is difficult to classify. It is thick and has a heavily smoothed base and has the shape of a late archaic Trimble point, but the excellent workmanship, substantial thickness and smoothed base and perfect symmetry argue against it. These traits argue for its assignment as a sharpened-down Fishspear (Brannon) Point. It is definitely an archaic point and probably belongs in the late or middle archaic period. It is made from Delaware Chert. This point was found just west of the Hopeton Earthwork Square’s western wall and is an isolated find, i.e. no signs of an occupation around it. The area occupied by the Hopeton Earthwork itself was sterile, as is customary for many large Hopewellian earthworks, but the areas just outside its perimeters did hold artifacts. I walked this area only once and there were many foot prints across it at that time. To the east along the terrace edge there were signs of Hopewell occupation (outside the earthworks proper) and the extreme southwest corner, just above the farm lane, contained an Intrusive Mound (Jack’s Reef) site. Point C was found in this area.
Point C is a classic pentagonal Intrusive Mound (Jack’s Reef) point made from gray Flint Ridge chalcedony. It is very thin and well made.
Point B was found in the Triangle Site, just west of the Intrusive Mound site and across the lane. The parallel walled avenue leading out of the earthwork and west-southwest crossed through the center of the Triangle Site. This site was loamy and not rich in artifacts or flint debitage, but this Late Adena/Early Hopewell point came from the middle of it. It is made from black Coshocton Flint and is well made. This site was partially excavated by Lynott and company in 1994 (Lynott, 2009).
Artifacts D and E were found on the Overly farm west of the Hopeton Earthwork in the field east of the farm house and bordering the Scioto River on the north (Dancey, 2009). Dancey, in his 2009 report, called it the Overly Tract. Point D is a Hopewell Point made from gray and white mottled Flint Ridge Flint. Its tip is missing. Artifact E is a splendid Hopewell Bladelet made from red-orange heat treated Flint Ridge Flint.
Artifact F is an early archaic side notched point made from either Coshocton or Zaleski Flint or black Flint Ridge Flint. It has a heavily smoothed base. It was found in the field just north of the Mound City Park very near Route 104.
Artifact G was found on the Hopewell Earthwork site in 1968, as were Artifacts H, I, and J. The Johnson family farmed the site then and graciously allowed us to hunt the site under ideal conditions. The Hopewell Earthwork Site is huge and covers over 100 acres and, compared to many other sites I have walked, is sparse in artifacts. And this was the richest of all Hopewell mound sites! Artifact G is broken wide bladelet manufactured from translucent Flint Ridge Moss Agate flint. It was found in the north-central section of the large enclosure. Bladelet H was found near the eastern wall of the larger enclosure and is a classic Hopewell bladelet made from heat treated Flint Ridge flint. The large Hopewell spearhead base, I, was found right on top of Mound Number 23 located in the southeastern part of the large enclosure. It is made from Flint Ridge Chalcedony and is a classic form. Bladelet J was found in the central northwestern area within the great enclosure and probably on the site of Mound 24.
The last bladelet, K, was found near the Seip Mound on top of a screen pile created in the excavation of 1974. This is the location of the Hopewell houses found directly north of the great mound just inside the circular wall.
Many of us who hunted the fields of Ohio during the period from 1960 to 2000 are now getting rather “long of tooth” and we possess a great amount of knowledge on sites, their locations and ages. We have a responsibility to document that information for posterity. Many of the sites have been destroyed by developments and many others are still being farmed using minimal tillage techniques that do not turn over the soil enough to reveal many artifacts. Other fields are fallow or are planted in prairie and are no longer available for surface hunting. I have other artifacts to donate to the Hopewell Culture Historical National Park and will do so as they turn up in my present effort to organize my collections. Thankfully, when I returned home from hunts, I habitually washed the artifacts, labelled them as to site location, and then bagged them. If I had not done so, I never would have remembered where many of the artifacts originated.
Another exercise in responsibility is to record sites with the State Historic Preservation office. I have been doing this for the most important sites found in my ramblings. They give the site a permanent site number and the site is recorded for posterity.