Notes from the Hardin Bridge Site

Submitted by Jeannine Windham (jwindham@newsouthassoc.com)

meta_slate_axe

Meta-slate axe from the Hardin Bridge site.

Research of the Hardin Bridge Site (9BR34) in Bartow County site is ongoing at New South Associates. Laboratory analysis has shown that the Hardin Bridge site represents a Late Archaic through early Middle Woodland timeframe based on lithic and pottery specimens. To date, the majority of hafted bifaces are consistent with the Late Archaic Ledbetter cluster, Savannah River, and Elora types. Woodland types of Yadkin and Copena also are represented. A number of Otarre-Swannanoa points bridge the gap, indicating a Late Archaic-Early Woodland transition occupation. Pottery specimens are mostly of the Middle Woodland Cartersville variety with check- and simple-stamped surface decorations. One specimen of Dunlap fabric marked has been identified from a deeply buried context suggesting limited Early Woodland occupation. Specimens of ground stone also are represented and manufactured from a locally found, greenish colored slate. These implements appear to be utilitarian hoes and axes with a lesser quantity of highly polished fragments. One such tool, a polished meta-slate axe (or celt) displays a hafting element as well as excessive use wear. This particular artifact is representative of the ground and polished slate tools that occur throughout the site.

elk_river_stemmed

Elk River Stemmed point from the Hardin Bridge site.

Also of interest is a hafted biface not typically found in Georgia that was identified during analysis. This Elk River Stemmed point was made from a Ridge and Valley chert (likely of the Conasauga variety) and supports the Late Archaic component of the site. The point type, while common in northern Alabama and central Tennessee, is rarely found in Georgia (Justice 1987). Also, a drill crafted of the same Conasauga chert was recovered, exhibiting basal hafting and a bi-convex cross section. Pending analysis of flotation samples from numerous features may reveal greater information regarding foraging and nascent agriculture in the Etowah Valley.

Drill from the Hardin Bridge site.

Numerous events associated with this project have provided outreach opportunities to both adults and children. R. Jeannine Windham has presented information on the Hardin Bridge site for local archaeological societies and a radio show. In addition, a large outreach event was co-organized with the Georgia Department of Transportation and provided an opportunity to discuss and participate in archaeological and cultural activities through an Archaeology Day. Greater information on the site and outreach events can be seen here.

References cited

Justice, Noel D.
1987 Stone Age Spear and Arrow Points of the Midcontinental and Eastern United States. Indiana University Press, Bloomington.