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MOUND STRUCTURE Excavation of the Dover Mound revealed four obviously distinct portions or zones which differed in construction as well as in appearance . They are discussed here as they appeared chronologically from the bottom of the mound upward. Fig. 7 is a schematic representation of these different zones. Zone One. The humus layer of an old forest floor was revealed by a dark band of soil from eight to twelve inches thick, extending in all directions from the center of the area excavated. This area was approximately a circle about l 00 feet in diameter. Because the mound skirt had in part been covered by a later deposit of river silt some 2.5 feet deep, and because several large oak trees growing on the mound skirt could not be removed, it was not possible at the time of exploration to examine this village area beyond the limits of the mound excavation. This section of the old forest floor had been used as a village. Three distinct areas showed that fires had been built, apparently for cooking. In each case the central area was roughly circular and about six feet in diameter, and was covered four or five inches deep with clean white ashes. At the edges of these clean ash layers there were numerous partially burned animal bones, potsherds, and firecracked stones, mingled with the charcoal ends of sticks from one to three inches in diameter. Among these bones it was easy to recognize the ulnae, scapulae, toe bones, and cannon bones of deer and the tarsometatarsus of wild turkey. There were also many small bones of birds and mammals and the vertebrae of very large fish. In the white-ash layer were many stones and river pebbles broken by heat, and under the ashes the hearth was hard-baked and discolored by the heat of many fires. A few potsherds were found in the humus layer. In one case the fire had been made in a well-formed concave basin which was filled with ashes and had in it many river pebbles broken by heat. On this old village area there were about a dozen holes varying in 5 6 Fig. 3. The western side of the mound, showing the staking. diameter from four to fourteen inches. These were regarded as possible postmolds. They formed no regular pattern and had no associations with other features to give a clue as to their use. Scattered over the same area were some nine or ten other holes from six to fifteen inches in diameter. Upon investigation the walls of these holes were not all vertical, and their cross sections were not uniform. Frequently the opening separated into several smaller oblique channels at depths of two to three feet. These were taken to be the molds of stumps of small trees, growing on the old forest floor, which, after being covered by the mound, had decayed to leave these molds. Although sought for, no pattern of any house structure was found. As revealed by the burned bones of animals, birds, and fish and the broken potsherds, the chief activity in the area about these fires had been the preparation and consumption of food. Zone Two. Over the old village and covering the western two-thirds of the excavated area the mound had been built up to a height of from four to five and one-half feet above the old humus line by using a heavy, compact marl varying in color from white to light blue. This marl evidently was moist when laid, and each load, as laid, remained together. That is, it did not scatter as sand or friable soil would do if dry. This light clay marl thus showed in the profiles a mottled structure, commonly called "loading." Each load could be seen separated from those surrounding it by slight changes in color, in varying shades from white to blue. Being moist when deposited, the weight of the earth above any load had the effect of "puddling." Each load became lenticular in shape, tightly compacted, and united to adjacent loads. When dry, the marl seemed practically impervious to water. It was so hard as to make it quite impossible to remove any part of it with a sharp shovel. A heavy man standing on a longhandled shovel with blade nearly vertical made little or no impression on this cementlike material. It was very difficult to break up this marl with a heavy pick, even after it had been newly...


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MARC Record
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