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Archaeological Theory 3240:400: Annotation Writing

Sample Annotations

The following are actual annotations from an Ohio Archaeology course; please take care not to plagiarize them. Your instructor may request less detailed annotations. Please follow your instructor's preferences when writing annotations for a specific class.

Brown, J.D.

            1996  The Johnson Site II: Terminal Archaic Points and Pottery. Ohio Archaeologist 46(2): 4-7.

   This brief article is a discussion of the Johnson Site II in central Tuscarawas County, Ohio. The author brings to light several important factors about the site. First, the site has only been under cultivation for about 30 years, providing a much shorter span of time for surface collecting than most other sites in the region. Second, the site represents one of only a few definitive Terminal Archaic sites in the region. Third, charcoal recovered from a hearth at the site and in association with Ashtabula points has been dated to within the time frame of what is generally accepted as the Terminal Archaic period, allowing the first dating of Ashtabula points in context in Ohio. Finally and perhaps most significantly, early pottery found at the site was better preserved due to the short cultivation period. The presence of this pottery without Early Woodland points is similar to pottery found at other sites in Ohio. Pottery found in association with projectile points and other artifacts diagnostic of the Terminal Archaic suggest a pattern of early, pre-Woodland ceramics in Ohio.

Brose, D.S.

            1994  Introduction; Conclusions and Extrapolations. In South Park Village Site and the Late Prehistoric Whittlesey Tradition of Northeast Ohio, pp. 1-4, 161-186. Prehistoric Press,   Madison, Wisconsin.

   In the introduction to his extensive report on the South Park Village Site Brose begins with a discussion of the validity of accepted assertion regarding the origins and inclusiveness of the Whittlesey Tradition of northeast Ohio—the cultural tradition to which the South Park Site is attributed. Brose then briefly discusses the disappointing results of his own excavations in what he assumed to be undisturbed areas of the site. Most deleterious to the value of the site, especially regarding its usefulness is the fact that it has been extensively looted and collected over the many years since its discovery. In his Conclusions and Extrapolations Brose utilizes data meticulously gathered and analyzed by the Cleveland Museum of Natural History to describes three major phases of site occupation, as well as regional influences by and upon the Whittlesey Tradition. Brose follows with an extensive and not always easy to follow discussion of the Whittlesey in the context of the end of prehistory, as well as its possible relationship with other cultures, including the Erie. Numerous tables and illustrations are provided.

Seeman M. and W. Dancey

            2000 The Late Woodland Period in Southern Ohio: Basic Issues and Prospects. In Late Woodland Societies, Tradition and Transformation across the Midcontinent, edited by T. E.      Emerson, D. L. McElrath and A. C. Fortier, pp. 583-611. University of Nebraska Press,    Lincoln.

   In this chapter the authors provide an overview of the Late Woodland period in southern Ohio. Their two-fold objective is: first, to summarize the major patterns of regional prehistory for the period and area, and second, to relate these patterns to competing models of cultural change for the same period and region. The authors begin with Griffin’s original view that regional societies that followed the Hopewell were decidedly less complex than had been the Hopewell, as evidenced by the comparative simplicity of regional mortuary programs, the decline of long-distance exchange, and monotonous ceramic decoration. Contrasting models by other scholars are described as is available research on the environment, technology, subsistence, settlements, art, mortuary ceremonialism, and exchange, interaction, and ethnicity. The authors’ provide several conclusions which overall appear to be reasonably thoughtful and sound. Numerous illustrations and references.

Murphy, J.

            1989  Archaic. In: An Archaeological History of the Hocking Valley, pp. 78-121. Ohio University Press, Athens, Ohio.

   This article discusses evidence of the Archaic in the Hocking Valley of Ohio. The author points out several problems associated with the study of the Archaic period in general, i.e. an extremely long time span, absence of bone or ceramic material, shallow sites without well-preserved stratigraphy, scarcity of ground stone tools, the inability to accurately date ground stone or scraper tools, and a reliance on projectile point typology as the single major diagnostic artifact for the period. Further complicating matters is the large and confusing body of knowledge pertaining to projectile point typology, resulting from inadequate samples, minor metric or morphological distinctions, and a tendency create a new type based upon a group of points associated with a specific site. The author provides a thorough discussion of the major Hocking Valley Archaic sites and their associated projectile points, concluding with a discussion of Ashtabula points as diagnostic of the Transitional period in the Hocking Valley. The author asserts that the Transitional culture of the Hocking Valley formed the basis for the Adena culture of the Early Woodland period.

Bowen, J.E.B.

            1990  The Paleo-Indian and Early Archaic of the Mohican Drainage. Ohio Archaeologist 40(1): 30-33.

   This brief article describes the various bodies of waters within the Mohican River drainage, the location of a major source of Upper Mercer flint at the mouth of the river, and the significance of the flint source relative to the 197 Paleo-Indian and Early Archaic points that have been discovered at 65 sites within the region. Dividing the points into nine generally recognized types, the author discusses each type in the context of the sites from which they came and the material they were made from. Seven tables correlate the number of point types with sites; not all nine point types are represented. The author offers no conclusions, but the data would seem to indicate that Early Archaic people in the region relied heavily on the local source of flint and that excursions to distant sources of raw material were unnecessary and/or rare. According to the tables the different point types were widely distributed, with no particular concentration of type at any given site. Since point types can be ascribed to different spans of time, one might conclude that the Mohican River drainage was heavily used by Early Archaic people and that the sites within the region were occupied again and again over time.