Mason County, WV - An Archaeological Treasure

Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14


46MS36 and MS37 represent two adjoining sites or portions of a large site extending onto two different properties. 46MS37 was recorded in 1953 and described as a “heavily littered shell field on the second terrace of the Kanawha River...close to the mouth of 16 Mile Creek.” 

Shell-tempered pottery sherd with strap handle from 36Ms36. 

Photograph courtesy of the 
WVDCH Collections Management Facility

The site has been excavated and collected for many years. It is multicomponent, with Archaic, Woodland, and Fort Ancient artifacts found. There were also reports of two small mounds on the site that had been plowed down.

Plain marine shell gorgets from 46MS36. 

Photograph courtesy of Harvey Allen.

The Fort Ancient component is a village with burials. The site has produced shell-tempered pottery, marine shell gorgets, as well as copper or brass cutouts and tinklers, and glass beads.  A buffalo effigy pipe was also found at the site.  Because no buffalo remains have been found in the Kanawha Valley from this time, and the pipe is made from catlinite or pipestone, it probably came from outside the area.

The occurrence of metal artifacts and glass beads indicates that the village site was last occupied after European contact.

Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14