Center For Transportation Research


Hancock County

40HK7

Site 40HK7 is located on Pleistocene and Holocene terraces near Stony Fork Creek in Hancock County, Tennessee (Figure 2). Archaeologists from the Transportation Center at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville conducted Phase II testing at site 40HK7 between November 22, 1995 and January 22, 1996.

The portion of the site within the proposed right-of-way measured approximately 140 m E-W by 100 m N-S. This area was cleared, plowed, and disked and a controlled surface collection was conducted. The controlled surface collection yielded 25 tools, 4,672 pieces of lithic debitage, and 40 pieces of burned or firecracked rock. Early Archaic through Late Woodland/Mississippian PPKs were recovered from the controlled surface collection along with two limestone tempered Middle Woodland sherds. Two hand excavated test units were placed on separate landforms (Figure 39). One test unit was placed on the Pleistocene terrace on the site. The second test unit was placed on the Holocene terrace. Test Unit 1 revealed a 19-27 cm thick plowzone overlying a Pleistocene subsoil while Test Unit 2 was excavated through 50 cm of dark Holocene alluvium and the watertable was reached at this level. Eleven 2 m wide machine power unit transects were excavated at 10 m intervals with a backhoe across the site (Figures 39 and 40). No potential subsurface pit features or postholes were found.

Figure 39. Power units and test units on site 40HK7.
Figure 40. Power unit transect on site 40HK7.

LITHICS

Projectile points/knives

A total of 28 diagnostic projectile points/knives recovered from site 40HK7 can be affiliated with twelve different diagnostic clusters. Early Archaic to the Late Woodland/Mississippian projectile points/knives are represented in the assemblage. These PPKs were recovered from general surface collection and controlled surface collection contexts.

Kirk Corner Notched cluster

One Kirk Corner Notched projectile point/knife was recovered during the controlled surface collection and two were recovered during the general surface collection. Basal edges include two straight and one incurvate with grinding noted on all specimens. Shoulders are barbed and project downward on the three specimens. Two cross sections are biconvex and one is plano convex. Two projectile points exhibit acute distal portions. Blade margins are excurvate on two PPKs and asymmetrical on one. These PPKs were manufactured from Knox chert.

Rice Lobed cluster

One St. Albans PPK was recovered during the general surface collection. It exhibits a bifurcated basal edge and rounded, expanding, and auriculated ears. Shoulders are tapered to rounded with a biconvex cross section. It was reworked into a hafted end scraper. This PPK was manufactured from chalcedony.

LeCroy cluster

One Kanawha Stemmed PPK was recovered during the general surface collection. It exhibits a short, rounded and shallow bifurcated base. The shoulders are projecting outward and the blade margins are incurvate. The cross section is biconvex. This PPK was manufactured from chert.

Guilford cluster

One Guilford PPK was recovered during the controlled surface collection. It exhibits an incurvate basal area with one downward projecting barb and one possibly broken barb. The maximum width occurred at the mid section and the blade margins are excurvate. The cross section is biconvex to almost diamond shape. Morphologically, this point is identical to the Nebo Hill cluster as described by Justice (1987).

Morrow Mountain cluster

One Morrow Mountain PPK was recovered during the general surface collection. It exhibits a short tapered stem with wide sloping shoulders, incurvate and excurvate blade margins, and cortex on the base. A step fracture or stack was noted at the blade mid section. The PPK was manufactured from Knox chert.

Stanly cluster

One Stanly PPK was recovered during the general surface collection and one was recovered during the controlled surface collection. These specimens exhibit squared stems with shallow basal notches and grinding. Blade shape is large triangular and the margins are excurvate with rounded shoulders. The cross section on both the PPKs is biconvex. These PPKs were manufactured from chalcedony.

Savannah River/Appalachian Stemmed cluster

One Savannah River/Appalachian Stemmed PPK was recovered during the controlled surface collection . It has a straight unfinished basal area with mildly contracting stem sides. Shoulders are rounded with excurvate blade margins. The cross section is plano convex. This PPK was manufactured from quartzite.

Iddins/Otarre cluster

Three Iddins/Otarre PPKs were recovered during the general surface collection and three were recovered druing the controlled surface collection. Three Iddins PPKs were of the Undifferentiated Narrow Stem type and three were of the Undifferentiated Stemmed type.

One specimen had a straight base and five have excurvate basal areas with grinding. Cortex is present on four of the PPKs, and fracture planes are present on two of the specimens analyzed. Stem edges are straight and tapered to a slight degree. Shoulders are rounded to expanded. Cross sections are generally biconvex. These PPKs were manufactured from Knox chert.

Benton cluster

This cluster includes the Benton type which has a medium to large straight stem that is plano convex in cross section. The temporal range for the Benton type is from 3,800-2,600 B.C. (Justice 1987) and based on the Benton zone at the Spring Creek Site in Tennessee (Peterson 1973:43). The Benton distribution in Tennessee extends to the Ridge and Valley Province.

A single Benton PPK was recovered during the controlled surface collection. The basal area is straight with incurvate stem sides and expanded shoulders. The blade margins are excurvate but are incurvated near the expanded shoulders. Oblique flaking is predominant on one side and forms a medial ridge. The cross section is plano convex. This PPK was manufactured from what appears to be Fort Payne chert.

Upper Valley cluster

Five Upper Valley PPKs were recovered during the controlled surface collection and two were recovered during the general surface collection. Five specimens exhibit excurvate bases and two exhibit straight bases. Three PPKs exhibit unfinished portions on the base. Side notching is slight to extreme and shoulders are characteristically rounded. Blade margins of two are incurvate and four have blade margins that are excurvate to a slight degree. These PPKs were manufactured from Knox chert.

Greeneville/McFarland cluster

Two Greeneville PPKs were recovered during the controlled surface collection. One specimen is a finished form while the other is possibly a poorly made or late stage PPK. One exhibits a straight basal edge while the late stage PPK has a slightly incurvate basal edge. Both examples exhibit excurvate blade margins and biconvex cross sections. The late stage PPK has a step fracture. One of these PPKs was manufactured from chalcedony and one was manufactured from Knox chert.

Small Triangular cluster

This cluster includes the Hamilton and Fort Ancient types. The Fort Ancient type has a long and slender triangular form with a straight base and deep serrations (Justice 1987). The temporal range for Fort Ancient is from about A.D. 1100-1750 in some areas (Justice 1987). The Hamilton type has an isosceles triangular form with incurvate blades and straight to excurvate basal edges. The temporal range for Hamiltons is from A.D. 500-1000 (Kneberg 1956:24).

A single Fort Ancient PPK was recovered from the general surface collection. It has a straight base with possible cortex on both sides of the basal thinning area. This could also be from intended abrasion. The blade margins are deeply serrated and the blade has an elongated distal portion with a biconvex cross section. The PPK was manufactured from chalcedony.

One Hamilton PPK was recovered from the general surface collection. It exhibits a slightly incurvate base and incurvate blade margins with a biconvex section. The PPK was manufactured from Knox chert.

Other Tools

Nine bifaces and biface fragments and one retouched flake were recovered during the controlled surface collection.

SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS

No further archaeological investigations are recommended for this site. Early Archaic through Late Woodland /Mississippian PPKs along with two Middle Woodland sherds were recovered during the controlled surface collection. No subsurface features or postholes were found. Local informants and cursory examination of the surrounding areas indicate that most of the site is outside of the proposed right-of-way.

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The Cool Branch Cemetery (40HK9)
Southern Appalachian Burial Customs


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This page was last updated on 20 Jan 2002.

For comments please send email to Chuck Bentz