Missouri archaeological survey reveals many artifacts

November 25, 2018

FORSYTH, Mo. (AP) — An archaeological survey at a lake in southern Missouri is revealing a wide range of artifacts.

The survey along Lake Taneycomo covers about 6,000 acres, The Springfield News-Leader reported .

The survey is part of Liberty Utilities-Empire District Electric’s dam operating license renewal, which must be renewed every 30 years through the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, according to plant manager Randy Richardson.

Richardson said there wasn’t much concern about documenting the historic sites around the dam when it was built in 1913. An archaeological survey was conducted in 1992.

The Delaware and Osage tribes requested the most recent survey. A tribal member has been overseeing the digs since work began in July.

Robin Jorcke, the survey team leader with Archaeological Research Center of St. Louis, said the company has found 40 historic and prehistoric sites.

The team has found stone tools that were made by Native Americans who lived in the area from about 3,000 years ago to 1,500 years ago. They’ve also discovered an ink bottle from around 1900 and two medicine bottles from the 1920s.

“We look for if someone historically lived here, if we can find prehistoric chert flakes from the stone tools they made,” Jorcke said. “We’re looking for any evidence they ever camped here or worked in this area.”

Relics and artifacts are sent to a lab for further analysis. The artifacts will then be stored with the State Historical Society of Missouri.

“If they are associated with cultural patrimony or with sacred sites with religious significance, the tribes have the right to ask for them,” Jorcke said. “They have to be notified about what we find.”


Information from: Springfield News-Leader, http://www.news-leader.com

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