99-A Report of Significant Data Recovered from Features 6 and 48 on Site 2DBE410 during Archaeological Investigations Undertaken by Western Michigan University in the Lower Galien River Valley of Southwest Michigan
Report of Investigations Number
During Spring 1990, archaeologists from Western Michigan University conducted test excavations at a series of site loci occupying morainal uplands overlooking the wetland-choked Lower Galien River in the southwest corner of Lower Michigan. While the results of our program of research have been previously reported (Cremin 1990), it is our intent here to elaborate upon the potential significance of two observations made on site 20BE410 and not included in the project completion report prepared last year. Specifically, we refer to the recovery of a carbOnized kernel of developed Eastern Complex maize or corn retrieved from deep within Feature 6, a roasting pit which also produced the remains of aquatic tubers, and an object of European trade brass recovered from Feature 48--data which had not been positively identified as our report of Phase II excavations was going to press.
Site 20BE410 is one of five sites occupying a pronounced land-form rising above the river valley. It is located on the edge of the bluff where an intermittent stream occupying a steep-sided ravine enters the.marsh flanking the Galien River from the south in the NE 1/4, NE 1/4, NW 1/4, SW 1/4 of Section 2 of New Buffalo Township (T8S R21W), Berrien County, Michigan (Cremin and Walz 1989). Originally defined on the basis of an isolated occurrence of one bifacial thinning flake observed during Phase I investigations of this landform, follow-up testing of this site loci revealed a complex of subsurface features centered on a sandy knoll occurring. 2 at an elevation of about 196.2 m ASL (Cremin 1990:12). Six of 9 pit Features recorded for this site are interpreted to represent deep roasting facilities; features commonly encountered on late prehistoric Berrien Phase sites in southwest Michigan. A radiocarbon date of 350 +/- 60 years: A.D. 1600 (Beta-37615), yielding multiple intercept calibrated ages oF A.D. 1494, 1502, 1506, and 1605 (Stuiver and Reimer 1986), obtained For Feature 4 would seem to conFirm the Berrien Phase temporal placement (Cremin 1990:28-29)