Wesler provides an impressive and definitive compilation of more than 70 years of archaeological excavations at one of the most important
archaeological sites in Kentucky.
The Wickliffe Mounds site is located on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River in Ballard County, Kentucky, about three miles south of the mouth of the Ohio River. Around A.D. 1100, Mississippian people--farmers and traders with a culture closely related to the historic cultures of the Southeast (Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and others)--created a settlement there on which they lived for approximately 250 years before moving on.
In 1930 road construction cut a channel through the site, revealing archaeological deposits and bringing the area to the attention of Fain King, a local lumberman and entrepreneur. King bought the site in hopes of turning it into an attraction for the education and entertainment of the public, and not incidentally for his own profit. For more than 50 years the area was subjected to excavations ranging from looting to professional research efforts. In 1983, the site was finally turned over to Murray State University to be developed into an academic facility dedicated to research, student training, public education, and preservation of the site and its collections. Fortunately, the Wickliffe collections include all the early excavation records as well as more than 85,000 artifacts, 90% of which had been catalogued. Between 1984 and 1996 excavations were conducted specifically to affirm questionable data and/or fill in gaps in the Wickliffe archaeological record.
In this volume, Wesler and his colleagues have compiled data from almost seven decades of excavations at Wickliffe Mounds, providing the first comprehensive study of this important site. The paperback version of the book is accompanied by a CD-ROM that contains contributions from a wide range of archaeological specialists and includes archaeological data, site maps, database files, plats of excavations, artifact descriptions, and photographs, compiling in one place the entire archaeological record for this very important eastern North American site.