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This collection was obtained during the second season of excavations at the LaGrange shelter, Site 1Ct90. The excavations were conducted in 1975 by the Department of Anthropology, University of Alabama for the Archaeological Research Association of Alabama. David L. DeJarnette was Principal Investigator and Vernon J. Kniht, Jr. was Project Director. Prior excavations were conducted in 1972 under contract between Florence State University and the Archaeological Research Association of Alabama. The collection from that excavation was transferred to the University of Alabama in 1975. The 1972 collection was not integrated into the final report, however, except for use in photographs and some passing references.

LaGrange shelter was approximately 40 ft long and 15 ft from drip line to rear wall. During the first field season, a total of seven 5 ft units were excavated in a U shape, leaving a 5 ft by 10 ft unit exposed on three sides. This isolated area was excavated as a control block in 1975. Two adjacent 1 ft by 5 ft strips were also excavated. The control block was excavated in 3 in levels within zones using the exposed profiles to guide the excavation. All excavations were conducted with small hand tools. Soils were dry screened through .25 in mesh. In addition, 40 lb soil samples from each zone were water screened through a screen column to recover floral and faunal remains and microartifacts down to a size of 590 microns. There were six natural soil strata at the site. Zone A was approximately 18 in thick and yielded artifacts from Woodland and Mississippian times. Much of Zone A was disturbed by looters’ pits. Zone B was approximately 12 in thick. It contained numerous artifacts from Early, Middle, and Late Archaic occupations. Zone C was a stratum largely confined to the rear of the shelter. It contained only Early Archaic artifacts. Zone D yielded Early Archaic and Late Paleoindian material. The lowest zones, Zones E and F, were considered to represent, respectively, the preoccupation humus layer and breakdown of the shelter floor. Only small amounts of debitage and charcoal flecks were present. These were attributed to downward migration of artifacts and burned rootlets. Features found in Zone A included small round bottomed pits and large, shallow, flat bottomed pits. Given their size, shape, and the presence of charcoal these features were interpreted as cooking pits. A large central hearth with several episodes of rebuilding was located in Zone B along with other fire basins, hearths, and cooking pits. A burial excavated in the 1972 season had its origin near the base of Zone B. The only reported feature from Zone C is an Early Archaic burial, one of the oldest reported in the state. Zone C also contained a spatially discrete lithic workshop marked by a number of cores and the densest concentration of debitage at the site. Zone D yielded one small pit and an occupational surface marked by burning and consolidated gray to black soil.

The specimens from the second field season at LaGrange were accessioned in 312 lots totaling 5 cubic feet. A few individual lithic artifacts were accessioned first, followed by general materials from units and levels or features. One folder of documents is associated with this collection. It contains the field notes and forms, plans and profiles, the Field Specimen list, and manuscript materials. There are 143 35 mm and medium format negatives and 31 35 mm transparencies in this collection. Most of the photographs are general excavation and site photos. Specimens and documents in this collection were curated with assistance of the National Endowment for the Humanities under Grant PA-50138-03. The associated photographic materials had previously been accessioned. Human remains associated with this collection are located at the Laboratory for Human Osteology on the University of Alabama campus.


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Location of LaGrange Bluff Shelter, Site 1Ct90
Excavation Plan, Site 1Ct90
General View of Site 1Ct90
Removing Backfill around the Control Block, Site 1Ct90
Excavation Zone A in the Control Block, Site 1Ct90
Features in Zone A of the Control Block, Site 1Ct90
Vernon J. Knight Mapping the Top of Zone D, Site 1Ct90
Excavation of Zone D, Site 1Ct90
Steve Wimberly Examining the Top of Zone F, Site 1Ct90
Excavation of Zone F, Site 1Ct90
Profile of Site 1Ct90
David DeJarnette and James Cambron at the Screen Table, Site 1Ct90
Decatur Point, Site 1Ct90
Benton Point Showing Evidence of Resharpening, Site 1Ct90
Mulberry Creek Cord Marked Rim Sherd, Site 1Ct90
Moundville Incised Rim Sherd, Site 1Ct90



Specimens : 312 lots, complete.

Documents : 1 folder, complete.

Negatives : 143, complete.

Transparencies : 31, complete.


Curren, Cailup B., Jr.

     1976    Zooarchaeological Analysis of LaGrange Bluff Shelter, 1Ct90. In LaGrange, by David L. DeJarnette and Vernon J. Knight, Jr., pp. 56-60. Journal of Alabama Archaeology 22(1). 

DeJarnette, David L., and Vernon J. Knight, Jr.

     1976    LaGrange. Journal of Alabama Archaeology 22(1):1-60.