Revisiting Anneewakee Creek (9DO2)

Submitted by Dylan Woodliff

During October 2012, Edwards-Pitman Environmental, Inc. (EPEI) conducted a Phase I archaeological survey for a proposed improvement to the intersection of SR 166/Duncan Memorial Highway and SR 92/SR 154 in Douglas County, Georgia. This intersection is located on the northern bank of the Chattahoochee River upstream of its confluence with Anneewakee Creek, which is also the location of the Anneewakee Creek site (9DO2), a Woodland period mound site located on a broad terrace recorded by Robert Wauchope in 1938. EPEI’s survey located intact archaeological deposits associated with 9DO2, but no traces of an earthen mound in the project area. Previous investigations and accounts of the Anneewakee Creek site, along with recent studies of the Leake site in Bartow County, Georgia, a large Woodland period ceremonial site and associated landscape, led EPEI archaeologists to consider whether additional earthen features or landscape elements might exist at 9DO2.

Wauchope excavated a portion of the Anneewakee Creek Mound, and uncovered the initial mound construction phase consisting of a clay platform constructed over “charred timbers,” which suggested an earth lodge or log tomb and an Early to Middle Woodland date for the early manifestations of the mound, and possiblly an Adena connection (Wauchope 1966:405). Wauchope did not, however, record any mound dimensions. The mound was revisited in 1972 by Roy Dickens, Jr. with Georgia State University prior to the mound’s complete destruction by the landowner. Dickens uncovered the “core mound,” a 30 by 30 foot platform constructed of yellow clay (Dickens 1975:36). Artifacts recovered by Wauchope and Dickens indicated that the mound was constructed between the Early and Middle Woodland period, and was in use at least until the Late Woodland period.

An account of the area by George White, a historian and gazetteer writer in the mid-nineteenth century recorded perhaps the most tantalizing, albeit brief, description of the area in 1854. White reported in his published gazetteer, under the heading “Anawaqua’s Tomb”:

Opposite the village of Campbellton, on the western bank of the Chattahoochee, in a tuft of trees, on one of those mounds so common in Georgia, rest the remains of Anawaqua, an Indian princess… It is situated in a meadow in a bend of the Chattahoochee and near the foot of a considerable hill. Ancient fortifications are traced all around the plain, extending from the river to the hill. (White 1854: 293)

While we will never know if a princess was buried in the mound, the possibility that evidence of other mounds or earthworks exists on the landscape of 9DO2 could prove to be significant to the study of Woodland period ceremonial sites in the Georgia piedmont. White’s description of the landscape appears to describe a potential Woodland period ceremonial landscape, possibly one similar to that identified at the Leake site. Wauchope and Dickens were only able to investigate limited portions of the terrace, hills, and surrounding floodplain, and may not have recorded other earthworks. Likewise, EPEI was restricted to a confined project area near the road intersection. In an attempt to ‘pull’ features out of the larger landscape, EPEI used GIS software to create a relatively high-resolution .5 meter elevation contour map of the area. The resulting map is intriguing in that it appears to show several anomalous terrain features that may represent possible foundations of earthen mounds or earthworks. The broad terrace is readily visible above the low-lying floodplains of Anneewakee Creek and the Chattahoochee River. Steep uplands rise abruptly to the north, similar to Ladds Mountain at the Leake site.

While the possibility of extant earthworks and ritually significant natural terrain features is highly speculative at this point, EPEI believes that further investigations of the surrounding landscape of 9DO2 could prove to be fruitful and add significant data to the study of Woodland period landscapes in the Georgia Piedmont.