Several spirally fractured deer bones have been unearthed, indicating human activity.Human remains in the form of hair, usually dark brown when not faded, have appeared in direct context with the lithic artifacts. Tom Gilbert attempted mitochondrial DNA analysis of other hairs from the site, but unfortunately none of their DNA had survived, despite their outward appearance of being in good condition.Since this website was launched in 2003 and widely viewed, these are becoming more extensively recognized, typically characterized (perhaps sometimes misleadingly) as "portable rock art".
And tools of this kind seem to have coexisted for a long time with the currently more recognized and familiar flint implements, serving when and where these were not readily available.
At this point, the actual age of this officially unrecognized yet professionally verified artifact material is of less interest than the simple fact that it is present, but contextual evidence strongly indicates that in the upper strata it is Early to Middle Woodland in age, or very roughly two thousand years old.
Temporally/culturally diagnostic flint projectile points from the vicinity of the site indicate a human presence dating from the Early Archaic through the Middle Woodland Period, or roughly 10,000 - 1500 years BP. (An overdue attempt at concisely deconstructing it may appear on this sadly disjointed website before too long.
More important by far than just this particular site, the finds here have led to the discovery of a simple and consistent zoo-anthropomorphic iconography apparently routinely and usually perfunctorily incorporated into lithic and other artifact material over many thousands of years and across widely separated areas of this planet. Meantime, click here to see the existing clumsy start at this.) Most commonly, the imagery is carved and/or ground into pebble- or cobble-sized stones.
Scott Moody, professor of forensic biology at Ohio University, as being obviously human and apparently quite old. Moody has also identified dyed plant fibers in context with the artifact material.
Whatever the age of this material might prove to be, it seems to point to an important if unrecognized anthropological and cultural phenomenon - the almost ubiquitous shaman-like bird-human figure characterizing the "rock art" at this site, remarkably consistent in its arrangement of readily identifiable sub- components.
(As is evident in the winter photo above, the gateway is also aligned toward the lower hill farther west.) Such wall earthworks are typically associated with ceremonial sites oriented to solar events, and other features of this site suggest that it is the case here.
Most directly, consider this photo of the vernal equinox sunset through the gateway: Below, the opposite (west) end of the gateway with large and somewhat zoomorphic sandstone slabs possibly collapsed from an original structure flanking the upward path.
At this time, several doctorate-level professionals - geologists, petrologists, anthropologists, a forensic biologist, and a few archaeologists - have personally identified human agency in both lithic and organic material.
The Ohio Historic Preservation Office has included the site (#33GU218) in the Ohio Archaeological Inventory, recognizing evidence of prehistoric habitation.
This material is presented for consideration by anyone with an interest in the early habitation of North America, describing artifacts first recognized and recorded in 1987 at an unglaciated hilltop site in southeastern Ohio.