Abstract

The Orange Township Earthworks are located in central Ohio. They lie on the eastern bank of the Olentangy River in southern Delaware County, inside Highbanks Metro Park. I conducted an exploratory excavation in the summer of 2011. My research builds upon previous work done by Raymond S. Baby, who excavated the earthworks in 1952. I used both the material I collected as well as Baby's to build a timeline of usage for the site. While the material retrieved from the site indicates sporadic occupation from early prehistoric to historic times, the earthworks belong to the Late Woodland phase (A.D. 500-1000). Using Olaf Prufer's model for vacant ceremonial centers and hilltop enclosures, I have concluded that the Orange Township Earthworks were constructed to be primarily a defensive structure, but may have also served other purposes, including functioning as a ceremonial and seasonal usage site. Lithic analysis demonstrates that the early stages of manufacturing and processing of chert occurred at the site. The artifacts indicate an Archaic (8,000-1,000 B.C.) component may be present, as well as a later Cole component (A.D. 800-1300), found in small midden deposits. The Orange Township Earthworks fit into a more extensive series of sites in central Ohio, including the large Hopewell earthwork structures of Newark and Ross counties.

Advisor

Kardulias, P. Nicholas

Department

Archaeology

Disciplines

Archaeological Anthropology

Publication Date

2012

Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis

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© Copyright 2012 Anastasia Wallace