Center For Transportation Research


Hancock County

Soils On Sites 40HK5, 40HK6, AND 40HK7

40HK5

Site 40HK5 is located in an upland landscape position on limestone residuum. The natural soil has the typical clay texture, reddish colors (2.5YR or 5YR), and well drained conditions of limestone residuum. The soil is mapped as Talbott that is described as moderately deep, reddish, and well drained (Moore et al. 1979). Table 24 gives the description of the soil located in the pit feature (Feature 1, east profile). This soil had essentially dark colored A horizons to 100 cm and then had limestone residuum occurring at 100-110 cm.

Table 24. Profile Description of Soils Occurring at Site 40HK5.

40HK6

Site 40HK6 is located along Stony Fork and has been influenced mainly by alluvial processes. The soils have been mapped as Minvale in the higher elevations and as Hamblen near Stony Fork (Moore et al. 1979). The Minvale series occurs on benches, foot slopes, and fans. This soil has an argillic horizon that is yellowish red and silty clay loam. Hamblen soils occur on bottom lands and formed on recent or late Holocene sediment. These soils have cambic B horizons.

Table 25 shows the soil profile described on the site (at 959 N, 1005.4-1005.5 E). The Ap, A1, and A2 horizons were 62 cm in thickness. This resulted from continued deposition during recent or late Holocene times. The strong argillic with reddish color and thick clay skins indicate a long period of weathering. From the peoologic features alone, this soil is estimated to be early Holocene or more likely Pleistocene in age.

Table 25. Profile Description of Soils Occurring at Site 40HK6.

40HK7

Site 40HK7 is located along War Creek in Hancock County, Tennessee. The soils are developed in alluvium at the lower elevations and limestone residuum at high elevations at the site. Limestone bedrock was noted in several profiles underlying the alluvium of the terraces. The alluvium ranges in age from very recent to Pleistocene. Judging from the thickness and development of the strong argillic horizon in the old alluvium, the profiles could have been developing since early to middle Wisconsinan.

The soils in the study area have been mapped as Minvale, Talbott-Rock Outcrop, Talbott, or Hamblen series (Moore et al. 1979). Minvale series soils are located on benches, foot slopes, and fans, have developed on material derived from cherty limestone, and have strong argillic horizons. The Talbott and related series are developed on limestone residuum. The Hamblen series occurs on bottom lands and is developed on alluvium derived from limestone, shale, or siltstone.

Tables 26-33 give the profile descriptions of soils occurring at 40HK7. The textures of the soils were mainly silt loams in the surface and silty clay loam to silty clay in subsoils. The strong argillic horizons in the old alluvium indicate a long period of weathering for these soils. Some coarse chert was found in Profiles 2 (near the limestone bedrock), 4, 5, and 7 (at the contact between alluvium and residuum). The soils developed on alluvium were mainly somewhat poorly to poorly drained. The argillic horizons (Btg) were grayish and the water tables were high. Profile 1, for example, had the water table at 105 cm at the time of the sampling. Mottling commonly occurred at 30-50 cm. Soils developed on limestone residuum were well drained and lacked the mottling or graying of the soils developed in alluvium.

Table 26. Profile Description of Soils Occurring at Site 40HK7, Deep Test 1, 1006 N, 1020 E.
Table 27. Profile Description of Soils Occurring at Site 40HK7, Deep Test 2, 1006 N, 1010 B.
Table 28. Profile Description of Soils Occurring at Site 40HK7, Deep Test 3, 1056 N, 1045 B.
Table 29. Profile Description of Soils Occurring at Site 40HK7, Deep Test 4, 1076 N, 1050 E.
Table 30. Profile Description of Soils Occurring at Site 40HK7, Deep Test 5, 1105 N, 1070 E.
Table 31. Profile Description of Soils Occurring at Site 40HK7, Deep Test 6, 1105 N, 1045 E.
Table 32. Profile Description of Soils Occurring at Site 40HK7, Deep Test 7, 1095 N, 1025 E.
Table 33. Profile Description of Soils Occurring at Site 40HK7, Deep Test 8, 1086 N, 1015 E.

Horizonation of the soils developed on alluvium showed an Ap developed on recent sediment and that an underlying A or Ap which was probably the original surface prior to the extensive agricultural erosion. Underlying the A horizons, a transitional (BE) horizon occurs and then a well-developed argillic (Btg) horizon that was usually gray and silty clay in texture.

Soils developed on limestone bedrock had the characteristic red colors (5YR), strong argillic, and generally well drained conditions. The limestone-derived soils occurred on the higher elevations of the site (e.g., Profile 8).

Hancock County Page Contents:
Continue in Hancock County Page Procedures
The Flat Gap Site (40HK5)
The Wilder Site (40HK6)
The Johns Site (40HK7)
Hancock County history
The Cool Branch Cemetery (40HK9)
Southern Appalachian Burial Customs


Click below for general resources.
Prehistoric and Historic Background
References Cited

Return to Projects Page.
Go forward in the Archaeology Group Site.

This page was last updated on 20 Jan 2002.

For comments please send email to Chuck Bentz