Paleo-Indian and early archaic settlement patterns of the Maumee River Valley in northeastern Indiana

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Mohow, James August
Cochran, Donald R. (Donald Ray)
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Thesis (M.A.)
Department of Anthropology
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In 1987, the Archaeological Resources Management Service (AXM6) at Ball State University conducted a sampling survey of a seven mile section of the Maumee River Valley in Allen County, Indiana. In addition to the primary survey, the project conducted an experiment in resurveying previously surveyed sample units, interviewed local collectors, and analyzed and tabulated data from a local collection with site level provenience. The project also reevaluated data previously collected from an adjacent section of the river valley and tested four sites in the latter study area.This study summarizes the data from the Maumee Grant Project and presents a general chronology of prehistoric habitation in the study area based upon that data. More specifically, this study has formulated provisional settlement models for the:PaleoIndian and Early Archaic habitation of the Upper Maumee River Valley, circa-10,000 to 6,000 B.C.The data indicate that the earliest peoples to inhabit the study area were Paleo-Indian bands with a preference for floodplain habitation and a subsistence strategy that emphasized hunting. As the post-glacial climate of the region ameliorated, the Early Archaic peoples that followed adapted a more diverse subsistence strategy, thus drawing upon a wider variety of terrace and floodplain resources. In contrast to their PaleoIndian forerunners, Early Archaic groups in the Upper Maumee Valley generally exhibited a preference for terrace habitation. In addition to the general Early Archaic occupation of the valley, three specific lithic traditions, the Kirk, the Bifurcate, and the Thebes, were identified and their settlement practices compared. While the origins of the earliest PaleoIndian bands in the region remained unclear, subsequent groups seem to have extended from and/or been influenced by Late Pleistocene and Early Holocene populations to the north, west, southwest, south, and east. By contributing to the regional data base and formulating provisional settlement models, this report provides a foundational basis for future research in the region.