How did you spend your last summer vacation? This summer, why not assist Cincinnati Museum Center in unearthing artifacts from a Native American village site? You can become an amateur archaeologist for a week or more at the Hahn Site, a late prehistoric village site in Anderson Township.
The Hahn Site is located approximately 2 miles northeast of the Beechmont Levy (SR 125), 0.6 miles west of the Village of Newtown, and 0.4 miles north of State Route 32 at the far end of Clear Creek Park. It lies on a low terrace within the broad valley of the Little Miami River, a State and National Scenic River. Clear Creek Park has drinking water and restrooms.
Preliminary excavations by Peabody Museum at Harvard in 1885 uncovered an array of prehistoric items including flint, stone, bone, pottery and shell artifacts. And, although little was learned of village layout during those early investigations, surface investigations during the 20th century, and the Museum’s work over the last nine years indicate that the initial Fort Ancient occupation at Hahn included a circular to oval village with a central plaza. To date, our work has exposed a complete wall trench house dating to the middle Fort Ancient (ca. A.D. 1250-1450), a large middle Fort Ancient debris-filled depression, a ditch to a Hopewell-age (B.C./A.D. boundary to A.D. 400) circular earthwork, and more than five dozen pit features (mostly trash-filled storage pits and earth ovens) dating to the late Fort Ancient Madisonville Phase (ca. A.D. 1450-1625).
This adventure is geared for teenagers and adults (ages 11-16 must be accompanied by an adult) and offers an opportunity to explore the Hahn Site’s domestic areas, including food storage and cooking pits, as well as the suspected locations of stockades bordering one or both of the Fort Ancient villages. You will learn standard excavation and recording techniques, as you discover more about the late prehistory of southwest Ohio, the development of sedentary agricultural villages, and the importance of the Hahn Site in our understanding of local Fort Ancient-age societies. Your hard work will be rewarded with the thrill of uncovering layers and artifacts from an important period in American prehistory.