Feature 13


by Gary L. Petherick

Feature 13 was located inside Structure 8 at 254.0R85.7. This oval pit was 2.8 ft long, 2.4 ft wide, and 1.47 ft in depth below the top of subsoil. It had a depth-to-diameter ratio of 0.85 and an estimated original volume of about 12 ft3.

Two zones of fill were present in this feature. The upper zone (Zone 2) was a thin deposit of mottled yellow clay which contained only a sparse amount of cultural material other than wood charcoal, animal bone, and charred plant food remains. The animal species represented were deer and raccoon. The plant food remains consisted of hickory nutshell, peach pits, and a trace of corn. The lower zone of fill (Zone 1) was a dark brown, highly organic loam containing diverse animal and plant food remains, abundant wood charcoal, potsherds, lithic artifacts, and a variety of European trade items. Many of these items, including a brass bell, metal fishhook, brass wire, and aboriginal as well as English kaolin pipes, were more complete and less worn out than most other trade artifacts from non-burial contexts. The brass bell was associated with one of two complete turtle carapaces recovered from this zone.

Feature 13 had a ledge about 0.2 ft wide around the western half of the feature about 0.65 ft above the pit floor. Six large rocks were found on the pit floor; two of these showed evidence of intentional modification. One had been bifacially chipped along the edges, creating a shape that conformed to the pit wall. The six large rocks seemed to fit together and may have originally formed a cover (at about the level of the ledge) over items cached in the bottom of this pit.

The animal bones from Zone 1 represent a diverse group of species, including box turtle, deer, passenger pigeon, turkey, frog, gray squirrel, fox squirrel, raccoon, and bear. This assemblage of animal remains is very similar to that found in the upper fill from Feature 3 (Burial 5) and suggests that Feature 13 may have been filled at the time of the ritual feasting associated with the burial of the adult male in Burial 5.