Document Type


Publication Date


Archaeological Report Number



When the Thornapple Basin Survey program commenced in 1979, the Barry County site files indicated the presence of only 64 archaeological sites in this area of the state. However, it was also quite apparent from the available data in the site files as well as from information provided by the Michigan History Division that no program of systematic archaeological research had ever been conducted in the county. And, clearly, this was a situation that the MHD desired to have remedied.

Aside from the interest expressed by the State Archaeologist, Dr. John Halsey, and his staff in having a program of systematic site location survey initiated in the Thornapple River Basin, the senior author, Dr. William Cremin of Western Michigan University, also was anxious to expand WMU's survey activities beyond the nearby Kalamazoo River Basin. After four years of systematic survey in portions of this drainage, Cremin recognized the need for creating a data set for comparison with the growing body of information generated by the Kalamazoo Basin Survey􀀼 a need which has only increased with the recent completion of this survey program. Now, with a data set derived from more than 350 prehistoric sites occurring in 135 km of the basin surveyed, it has become absolutely essential that comparative information from other drainages in southern Lower Michigan be made available in order that predictive models of prehistoric settlement and subsistence behavior emerging for this universe (and other areas in this portion of the state) might be rigorously tested.

With this thought in mind, and responding to the request of MHD that a proposal be submitted for initiating site survey in the Thornapple River Valley, Cremin and his associates began a literature/documents search and examination of the Barry County site files, evaluated the available information, and established a series of research objectives to guide TBS Phase I activities in 1979 as well as to provide a basis for long term systematic survey in this universe in future years.