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During May and June of 1993 and 1994, a UTC field school conducted test excavations at 40HA84 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Sixty square meters of surface area were screened using 1/4- inch mesh, resulting in the discovery of 40 prehistoric features extending below the plow zone. Several postholes and other features contained 13769 prehistoric artifacts, while the plow zone contained 21704 artifacts. The vast majority of these remains are associated with the late Mississippian period. Two historic glass beads and one clay bead were found in the plow zone, while a single clay bead was recovered from a shallow rectangular pit containing exclusively shell tempered ceramics. According to Marvin Smith, these beads have 16th-century attributions, although they are also found in later contexts. Features included a small clay hearth, 32 postholes, several miscellaneous pits, and three burials (one of which had been partially looted) that were filled primarily with large burned daub fragments and charcoal. One burial pit also contained two Madison projectile points, dating to the Dallas or Mouse Creek periods, while an apparent undisturbed burial pit produced several human deciduous teeth. These features are believed to represent infant/juvenile internments in the interior of a late prehistoric winter house, as they are enclosed by an incomplete line of post holes. Additional research is needed to determine the full size and shape of the structure formed by the postholes and daub concentrations, and to enlarge the systematically collected artifact sample from this site. The discovery of extensive amounts of burned daub and the absence of a rebuilding phase for this structure indicate that it was abandoned after it burned. Together with the preponderance of late prehistoric ceramic and lithic artifact types and the four beads that probably date to the last half of the 16th century, this constitutes indirect support for Charles Hudson's (1988) identification of 40HA84 as the Napochie village that was attacked and burned by a combined force of Coosa warriors and a contingent of the Luna expedition in 1560.


Dept. of Social, Cultural, and Justice Studies


College of Arts and Sciences


University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)




Archaeology -- Tennessee -- Hamilton County; Antiquities; Archaeology; Hamilton County (Tenn.) -- Antiquities


Chattanooga (Tenn.); Hamilton County (Tenn.)

Document Type



iii, 21 leaves



Call Number

F444.C4 H66 1995


Archaeological testing at 40HA84, Audubon Acres, Chattanooga, Tennessee